This is the story of my sister Brea (Griffiths) Kroeker and her war with chronic illness. If you know Brea, then you know she is a warrior. I may be the one in the family who is in the military, but it is my sister who is the true fighter. Brea has been battling severe illness for several years, but she is losing ground.
Before Brea became ill, she was a high-level athlete and scholar. She received a soccer scholarship to Princeton University, where she became the team captain and took her team to the NCAA Final Four. She was recognized as one of the toughest defenders in the country (I still brag about this to anyone that will listen to me). She knows what it means to compete, to train hard, to give everything you have, give even more, and leave it all on the field. To see this larger-than-life persona, full of energy, excitement, and promise slowly fade away over the years is heart-breaking to say the least.
Unfortunately, her battle started almost immediately after graduating college, when she fell very ill for over a year. Her symptoms re-emerged in 2014, and she has suffered a roller coaster of debilitating health issues since then. Her illness has devastated her family financially with medical bills and her inability to work. She has spent over two years mostly housebound and bedridden with extreme exhaustion, fevers, fainting, vomiting, facial swelling, temporary loss of hearing, sinus staph infection, and multiple recurring infections, among many other symptoms. She has suffered all this while trying to raise her three children, hoping every day that her energy and health will return to help provide them with all the love and care they need. In this video Brea opens herself up to tell her story.
Photo Caption: Brea, on a really good day last fall after seeing some promising improvements, with her oldest son at his x-country meet
Photo Caption: Brea's middle son, who has suffered periodic nausea, fatigue, dizzy spells, for the last couple of years and has a chronic cough
Photo Caption: The smiley happy-go-lucky baby in the family
Brea has gone to countless doctors and specialists in Canada, hoping to uncover the cause of her chronic health issues. She has been diagnosed with a number of conditions over the years such as Addison’s Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Dysautonomia. None of her treatments for these conditions have helped. More recently, she has seen some promising improvement by making some major lifestyle adjustments and following treatment protocols to eliminate problematic toxins. She needs to continue the next phase of testing and treatment but will require significant financial support in order to see specialists in the U.S. for which she has no insurance. If enough is raised she would like to see either the Stanford Medical Clinic (Dr. Montoya) or the Mount Sinai Medical Clinic (Dr. Enlander). Here is a rough itemized budget of her needs for the next year as she tries to unravel her story even more:
Medical Doctor/Practitioner visits: $13,500
Medical Testing: $6,300
Current Medications/Supplements for 1 year: $5,800
Treatments (an estimate pending test results): $10,000
Travel Costs: 10,000
TOTAL: $45,600 USD
PLEASE NOTE THIS CAMPAIGN IS IN U.S. DOLLARS
If you would like more information about Brea’s story please contact either Lynn Del Monte ([email redacted]), Sylvia Morelli ([email redacted]) or myself, Drew Griffiths ([email redacted]). To everyone that took the time to read this, thank you so much and to everyone that donates, we cannot thank you enough because this could not be possible without the generosity from people like you.