Stephen's Medical Expenses

My cousin, Stephen, who is 31-years-old is suffering from complications of a Pineal cyst removal as well as a Chiari I Malformation Decompression surgery that failed.  

That means there is fluid pushing against Stephen's brain, which is causing a lot of pain and pressure on his brain.  There are complications such as signal abnormalities showing up on his MRI after only a couple of months.  Stephen has also started having problems with his heart, he has seizures, trouble with his kidneys and a myriad of other health issues.  Because of all the additional problems with Stephen's health, he has really deteriorated. 

Right now, Stephen has days when he can’t get out of bed and others when he wants to just shoot for the moon.  Some of his physical issues are: he is unable to control his body temperature, has Grand Mal seizures, he passes out for periods of time because of his heart problems, has bad anemia and episodes of Parkinson's shakes.  There are good days, and there are really tough days.

Stephen has been unable to work since his health problems started.  Lesley (his wonderful wife) is working on getting her degree in Epidemiology to better support her family.  To fund that, she is serving her community through AmeriCorps, which is a program that pays for her school and provides a very minimal stipend, but doesn't allow her to work in another job during her service term.  They are working on getting insurance assistance for Stephen, but at this point, he isn't covered on any insurance plan.  Needless to say, they are working on an incredibly low budget and the medical expenses are only growing.  Right now, Stephen's day to day care is provided by their son, Drew; but he will be leaving on an LDS mission to Argentina in just a few months.

Stephen and Lesley are some of the greatest people I know.  Stephen has overcome so much in his life and has made a conscious decision to be a better person for it.  It’s frustrating that this is going on when he has finally settled down and chosen to lead a productive life.  Lesley is endlessly positive and upbeat.  She loves to great depths that few others do.  She has overcome much in her life, including two battles with cancer.  Stephen and Lesley are more than deserving of as much help as we can get for them.

Stephen and Lesley appreciate all their family and friends and how they are serving them- even the "small" things mean the world to them; things like help with rides to doctor's appointments and daily care are invaluable to them.

If you are able to contribute to Stephen's medical care and trip to New York for a brighter future, even just a couple dollars, they would be eternally grateful.
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Sheraya Elissa Brown 
Orem, UT
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