Fundraiser for Stem Cell Therapy

My name is Joy and I am a mother and a wife. Since 2006 I have been the primary caregiver for my two sons with autism and my disabled husband. My husband Michael suffers from degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis in his back, he has four ruptured discs stemming from an injury from his teen years and years of manual labor that has progressively worsened over time.  I have seen my husband of almost 20 years go from completely mobile and fully functioning to residing mostly in his chair, barely getting around and walking 90% of the time with the support of a cane. My husband is only 51 years old and has two sons that are 19 and 16 that he cannot fully engage with due to his injury.  My husband has tried several treatments, including physical therapy, pain killers, radiofrequency ablation (nerve burns) and an implanted TENS unit (neural stimulation). Nothing has worked to reduce his pain and increase his mobility. My husband used to be a welder and a machinist for fourteen years. Now he cannot contribute financially the household and this is a strain on our finances and our marriage. The state of Kansas will not approve him for disability and therefore I am the sole bread winner in my home making less than $20,000 a year. Both of our sons are on the autism spectrum and have required the care of trained applied behavior analysis workers that are only partially covered by insurance. Our medical bills for the treatment that our sons need in order to be fully functioning adults in society have stretched our household budget to the breaking point. I am starting this fundraiser not only to raise money to fund my husband's stem cell therapy, which is not covered by insurance due to its experimental nature, but also to raise funds to cover the cost of my sons past therapy. This therapy has allowed my oldest son to enter college and earn a 3.8 GPA and my youngest son to participate in Special Olympics, band and 4H for the most part, independently. My youngest son went from non-verbal, physically aggressive, constantly eloping and unable to take him into the community child  to a mostly independent 16 year old young man who participates in year round Special Olympics, is very verbal, plays the piano and drums, and participates in 4H. My oldest son went from barely able to engage in a conversation or socialize with peers and unable to function independently in the classroom to attending college, having friends and being able to socialize independently and engage as a fully functioning young adult. Applied Behavior Analysis was a life saver for my children, one where I went bankrupt and lost my house in order to pay for the therapy before insurance would cover it. Even with insurance coverage we have amassed a large co-pay bill that I cannot begin to cover with my meager income. Adding an additional medical bill for my husband's stem cell therapy, while necessary and needed, is not something that we can afford. I pray to God and Jesus that stem cell therapy will work for my husband and allow him to regain mobility and be able to play sports with his youngest son and teach his oldest son how to drive and enjoy watching him play in the college marching band. I pray that stem cell therapy will work and I can have my husband back. My husband is miserable on pain medication and with the opioid crisis that our nation is currently facing, I am worried for my husband's long term mental and physical health with taking pain medication. I know that pain medication is not a long term solution and am searching for one. Thank you for reading and if you can donate anything, even the smallest donation will give me joy and restore my faith in humanity and the goodness of the people.
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Joy Keel 
Harveyville, KS
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