Because Ataxia affects the brain stem and interferes with messages that are sent from nerve fibers to the brain, basic skills such as walking, talking, balancing, and even swallowing are affected over time. At 43 and 44 years old, Carlos and Victor can no longer work and are no longer able to do the things they once could. Carlos has not been able to play with his sons in years and its difficult for his children to remember the dad they once had. Victor is no longer the happy and motivated person he once was. The Victor who used to crack jokes and make us all laugh rarely talks or smiles anymore. Both are forced to use walkers in order get around as well as to prevent falls. Sometimes walking proves too much for Victor and he is forced to depend on being pushed in a wheel chair. Simple daily tasks like using the restroom, showering, and eating meals are now very challenging for them.
Ataxia affected my brother's at prime times in their lives and has robbed them of basic abilities that many of us take for granted. Two once-healthy individuals who were barely beginning to experience life are now forced to depend on the assistance of my mom, who is not only caregiver to them, but is also the guardian of Carlos' three sons. This has created many hardships for my mother including supporting a family of six on a fixed income.
While there is no cure for Ataxia, we did find a way to try to slow its progression and improve their quality of life, which is why I'm asking for everyone's help. A doctor by the name of Dr. John Bergman is known for treating patients with not only neurological and genetic diseases, but various other injuries and illnesses. People from all over the world travel to California to see Dr. Bergman due to his ability to decrease and in many cases even eliminiate patients pain and symptoms. Dr. Bergman utilizes a homeopathic approach and has been known to restore motion in patients who were paralyzed and told they'd never walk again. Dr. Bergman recently met with my mom and my brothers and was able to create a treatment plan that will help to improve Carlos and Victor's daily functioning however, the treatments (which would be required twice weekly for the next several months) are not covered by insurance and are too costly for my mom to pay on her own. Aside from the cost of treatments, my mother would have to commute from Gardena to Huntington Beach resulting in additional expenses.
At this point, I am willing to do whatever it takes to try to help my loved ones even if that means requesting the help of others. Anything is appreciated, including prayers for the Valdez family or simply sharing this link. As my grandma used to say, "Hoy por ti, mañana por mi" which translates to "Today for you, tomorrow for me." I truly believe when you open your heart to bless others, those blessings come back ten-fold. With that said, the Perez and Valdez families thank you from the bottom of our hearts. God Bless!
- Maria De La Mora
- Toby Hutchens
- Sofia Guerrero
- Steve Indian
- Mark Douglass
Organizer and beneficiary
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