I would like to introduce you to my friend, Carina Schilling, and her family. In the fall of 2011, Carina suffered a major health collapse, shortly after which she became bedridden and began to experience severe symptoms including pain and seizures. She lost 30 pounds, had several trips to the Emergency Room, and continued to decline until her family feared for her life. In 2013, after a fruitless search for answers, they found a clinic in another state that was able to give them a diagnosis.
They now know that she has a Toxic Mold Infection and Cytomegalovirus (CMV) throughout her body, as well as other related medical issues. CMV is a common virus that can infect almost anyone, but usually lays dormant and only rears its ugly head - with a myriad of symptoms - when a person’s immune system is compromised. These underlying problems have caused Carina to suffer from neurological dysfunction, convulsions and seizures, hypersensitivity to foods and medications, impaired liver function, and gastro-intestinal issues. The treatment is strenuous and of long duration, making her ill much like chemotherapy treatment. Since Carina's initial collapse, she has received a year of treatment (both long-distance and in-clinic), and has resumed many of her daily activities even though her strength and stamina remain weakened.
In between trips to the clinic Carina is being distance treated at home, which costs approximately $390 for 2 weeks. In-clinic treatment for 2 weeks is about $8,500. This includes the cost of airfare and housing for herself and a much needed companion (usually her daughter Claire or husband Dane) during treatments.
I recently found out that the Schillings are getting ready to sell their home, not due to their inability to make the payments, but because of the heavy financial load that has accumulated due to medical debt (they owe $33,000 to date). She has been to the clinic in Tennessee four times and is gearing up for another visit in September. The clinic has estimates that she is about one third through the treatment process, and the estimated total cost for the remainder of her treatment over 2 years is $52,720. The Schillings built their modest home five years ago and stayed on budget through the entire process until the medical bills started mounting.
They have not asked for help, but I have been so deeply moved by the love I see in this family for each other and others outside their family. I had been racking my brain as to what I could do to help this wonderful family when my sister asked if I had heard of “GO FUND ME”. With the need to spread their story to as many people as possible I have decided, with their permission, to tell their story and see what happens. The top priority is getting Carina healthy again. My hope is that this family of nine will not lose their home in the process.
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