ChefRick'sMedicalRecoveryFund!

My name is Rick Swaim, I’m 45 years old, have been a chef for 20 years, and I lead a pretty physical lifestyle. I ride a motorcycle, mountain bike, hike, workout regularly, play basketball, play bass guitar and lots of other fun stuff. There are two things that are pretty important to my active life and extremely vital to my career.....sight and the use of my hands. Recently I have been battling serious issues with both!
 
For over a decade I have battled three genetic disorders in my left eye (Posterior Polymorphous Dystrophy, Pellucid Marginal Degeneration and ICE- Essential Iris Syndrome) and one in my right (PPD). These conditions caused extreme light sensitivity, swelling, irritation, tearing, pressure and headaches. For quite a few years I was basically blind in the left eye. I just lived this way, dealing with it and not letting it stop me from continuing to live my life the only way I know how…..to its fullest! There wasn’t much I could do about it anyway since I had no health coverage.

 In 2012 I got a job with health coverage and in December 2013 had transplant surgery on my left eye. Within three months my vision was great and life was getting back to normal. That transplant rejected in August 2014 though. I was left nearly blind in my left eye again until February 11, 2015 when I had a second transplant done. Now, 8 weeks into recovery and I am seeing pretty good but there is still a long road ahead. Then there's the right eye to deal with!

Along with my eye issues I also have a condition in both hands called Dupuytrens Contracture and a minor case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in the right hand. Dupuytren's affects a layer of tissue under the palm that knots up, forming a thick cord that can pull your fingers into a bent position. On me it’s both ring fingers and my right thumb. It can be very painful, my hands cramp up often and I cannot completely straighten out either of those fingers without excruciating pain. Without surgery those fingers will continue to bend back into my palms until my hands are crippled. Surgery is scheduled on my right hand for May 21, 2015! Recovery is 3-4 months, then the left gets done.


When I had my first eye surgery I had health insurance through my job so my costs were minimal. I have since lost that job and it's health benefits, and am now paying for my own coverage. I recieve state disability ($94 a week) but am living off of my savings, through the help of family and friends and by selling personal belongings. Between my health insurance and regular monthly expenses my bills are roughly $1450 a month. This doesn’t include extra medical expenses (co-payments, deductibles and prescriptions), everyday living expenses, emergencies or (important one) food!

So, I am here to raise funds to help get me through the long recovery road ahead. With one eye healing and surgery on my hands coming up I’m not going to be able to return to work for 8-10 months (if all goes as planned). All I know is that  without more help I will not be able to make it. Not everyone will be able to give but there is more you can do for me than donate money. You can send good thoughts, prayers, positive energy, mojo, good vibes, luck, etc….whatever your preference! And, PLEASE, pass my information along to your friends and family, coworkers (employers, employees, colleagues), Facebook friends, Twitter followers, favorite restaurant’s owner, clients, classmates, bandmates, community leaders, baristas, the media, favorite local businesses, your place of worship, your rich uncle (hahaha lol), etc….anyone you can think of that can help in any way. The more ears that hear my plea, the better I might fair in my recovery and getting through these medical procedures with the ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel and get through this with the ability to handle life on the other end!

THANK YOU all for the generous donations, prayers and good thoughts that have already been sent my way. And thank you to all that join my cause in the future! I appreciate it more than anyone can know!

PEACE! 

Rick Swaim

 Info on Dupuytren's Contracture: 
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dupuytrens-contracture/basics/definition/con-20024378



PICTURES.....(1) left eye the day before my first transplant, (2-3) right hand pre surgery-May 2015, (4) right hand just about to get my first look the day after surgery. (4) Things are healing up real good-July 2015, Even better-August 2015, (5) right hand with a scar reducing pad and 2 diffwerent splints to wear when I am sleeping and "down time"-September 2015.


 






  • Anonymous 
    • $1,000 
    • 64 mos
  • Creta De Vault-Ford 
    • $25 
    • 65 mos
  • Creta De Vault-Ford 
    • $25 
    • 65 mos
  • kate concannon 
    • $100 
    • 67 mos
  • Ea Christensen 
    • $25 
    • 67 mos
See all

Organizer

Rick Swaim 
Organizer
Pasadena, CA
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