Hello friends, family, and all around good folks! I'll be going in for surgery soon to correct issues related to ulcerative colitis. UC is a gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine with chronic ulcers. It functions like an auto-immune disorder, and causes constant abdominal pain, internal bleeding, and a number of issues involving digestion and nutrient absorption. It is now to the point that medication has been determined to be ineffective, and I'll now have to wear a colostomy bag for the remainder of my life, as the large intestine has to be removed. It's been quite the venture, and I am really hoping to find some relief with this next step. It is quite costly, as any major medical procedure is, but thankfully, my deductible has been met for the year, so that brings some of the cost down. The amount I've posted includes what I will have to pay out of pocket, lost wages due to missing a significant amount of work recently and in the coming days, and some costs related to food and transportation while I'm out. The procedure will take me out of work for about 6 weeks, and colostomy bags will be something I'll have to constantly replenish, but my hope is that won't be an issue in the near future, once I return to work on a constant basis. That's where I'm currently at. A lot of people have offered their support already, and have offered to pledge to assist here, and I can't say how much I appreciate it all now, and will continue to do so. I personally don't like the idea of having donations without being able to offer something back. I do like to write, and I do like to get creative with phone photography. If there's anything I can do to assist someone in the artistic sense, or to offer support, I'm very glad to be of service. One last thing: if anyone is going through anything similar to what I've experienced, you have my full support, and can reach out to me anytime. I'll be glad to share what I know, and to offer resources for assistance. The best thing I can do at this point beyond taking care of my own personal health is to offer any assistance to battle what is still a very unknown disorder, as far as how it originates, and how to cure it, as there is currently none. Thank you to anyone reading this. You're all wonderful for reaching out.