Fight for Candice Fredricks

Candice has been diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a very severe disorder in her bone marrow where her bone marrow makes abnormal cells. This leaves her with very low blood levels and if untreated it would develop into leukemia. Her MDS is especially severe because of the addition of a mutation to a chromosome, which makes her case progress much more rapidly. Without treatment, she was told by her treatment team that she has less than a year to live. The only possible cure for her condition is a bone marrow transplant. This is a very complicated and dangerous procedure that involves a month in the hospital and at least three months of isolation following her hospital stay. This involves a very intense week of chemotherapy to kill off all of her bone marrow (the good, the bad, and the ugly), as well as eliminating her immune system. This will make her very sick, very miserable, and extremely prone to infections and complications. She will then receive new bone marrow from a donor and will remain in the hospital until the marrow engrafts and produces enough blood cells to know that the transplant was successful. Her immune system will remain suppressed for some time and she will have to stay within an hour of the hospital for three months and take extreme precautions to avoid infection. There are numerous other, common complications that can occur when the marrow detects that Candice's body is foreign and it attacks her body. She will be on numerous medications to keep infection and complications at bay. 

Collectively with Candice's family, we have decided to pursue the bone marrow treatment at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in downtown Detroit. After extensive research and meeting with transplant teams at the best hospitals in Michigan, we found that Karmanos has one of the best success rates in the country and that is where we need to be. Along with the severity of this procedure, we will also be burdened with extreme financial struggles and while Candice has never been the type of person to ask or even be willing to accept money from anyone, we cannot do this without help. While insurance covers most of the treatment directly associated to Candice, there are deductibles, premiums, and all of the other stuff that nobody understands. There is also a good chance that the insurance company will not pay for the process of finding a donor, retrieving the marrow from the donor, or transplanting the marrow to Detroit. These costs alone are around $150,000. We will also have lodging expenses for weeks before the procedure, for a month during the hospital stay, and for at least three months following the treatment. There are also costs associated with driving back and forth across the state, as well as food for the duration. Candice has also had dreams of becoming a mother and this procedure will almost certainly leave her sterile. We are currently pursuing fertility treatment to harvest her eggs for freezing, but again, this is very expensive and could cost us over $10,000 depending on if we qualify for grants that we have been applying for. Even with the grants it would be around $7,000. This is all going to be financially crippling to us and these costs don't even account for the wages that we will miss with all of the work that Candice, her family, and I will miss. 

It is difficult to convey the severity of Candice's condition without providing survival statistics, but I am not going there in this post. But I also don't want to sugarcoat anything because her condition is as severe as it gets and her prognosis is struggling for us to handle right now. We are really struggling to keep everything together, but right now we are holding onto the hope that we do have. We do have a chance at a cure and our chance starts with you. We need all of the support that we can get. But I also understand that you all have your own lives to live. We did as well just a month and a half ago, but now our only concern is keeping Candice alive. What I am attempting to say is that I'm not trying to get you to donate so much that it puts strain on your family, but I am begging that you help me in anyway that you can. If $5 is all that you can afford that is perfectly okay because every little bit helps and it helps Candice's spirits in knowing that she has the love and support from so many people. If you have no money to spare, I completely understand, but I do beg that you spread the word by sharing this page on social media. 

I really need you guys. I love Candice more than I can put into words and I'm not going to lose her. I will do whatever it takes to save her life, but I need your help. I have had struggles of my own in my life, not related to my health, and Candice saved me. I owe her absolutely everything and the only way I can ever repay her is to gather all of you to help me save her life. Please spread the word and if you have anything to give it would be more than appreciated. For those of you who know Candice, she is the type of person who would never ask anyone for anything, but would give anything to help someone else. Right now she needs your help, so I beg you to help save the most amazing and special person I have ever met.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

Edited on 10/23/18 (I wanted to point out that on the right side of this page, it lists Kurt Fredricks as the beneficiary of this fund. Most of you know this, but for those of you who do not, Kurt is Candice's Father. We created a separate bank account for these funds and since Kurt took on the role of dealing with the insurance company and paying the bills as they came in, we thought that it was best to make the account in his name, and that is why his name is listed there. This allows Candice to focus solely on getting better and not having to focus on making sure that the bills are paid. Every penny raised is going to Candice and making sure that she gets the best care possible. I just wanted to point this out so that people do not wonder why it says that the money is going to Kurt. 
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Organizer and beneficiary

Candice Lee Fredricks 
Muskegon, MI
Kurt Fredricks 
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