Save my Foot

Dear Friends - As many of you know, it is not in my nature to ask for money for myself.  I am usually the first one to offer to pay for other people, give gifts of $ and time, or invite people over to cook for them.  But I am in a financial bind and need help.  In an effort to be able to continue to walk, I have been spent over $20,000 thus far, trying to save the life of my foot.  From a running accident in the early 1980's, I recently found out that my talus bone (primary weight bearing foot bone used for walking) developed avascular necrosis, which caused two large cysts to develop, causing the entire foot to collapse.  I am told that there are no solutions other than to either cut the foot off and get a prosthetic, or to fuse the entire foot and ankle joint.  As a lifelong athlete, now 62 years old, who thrives on daily hikes, XC skiing (from Russia to Sweden in 2005), bicycling, swimming (across Maui Channel in 1978), it has been the biggest challenge in my life (way beyond the four hip surgeries,  including a replaced hip, and both knees replaced) to not be able to navigate through a Farmers Market, let alone hike anymore.  My only hope has been to turn to alternative treatments not covered by insurance.  I had seen many orthopedic Dr's over the past 5 years, as I complained about the pain in my left foot, and they all said it was just a little arthritis.  It was not until I saw one Dr last Fall, who believes in stem cells as a significant augment to surgery, showed me the cysts in my talus bone.  He suggested that I needed to find someone who could treat the inside of the talus bone with stem cell therapy, in order to regenerate/stimulate bone growth.  In March of this year, I finally found an amazing Dr with the knowledge and skill to drill and treat the inside of the talus bone and entire foot and ankle joint with a mix of stem cells, PRP and cadaver bone.  Without insurance coverage, however, the cost was $10,000 (not including travel expenses).  I was not able to work for 5 months post surgery either.  This expense coupled with the $2,000 (after insurance)brace that I had to purchase just to be able to attend to daily tasks like shopping, cooking, working, etc, plus special shoes, and any accessory treatments to relieve pain such as acupuncture/massage - none of which are covered by insurance, has put a huge strain on our finances. The result of all of these measures to save my foot have proved worth every penny thus far, as I am in much less pain and can see some physical improvement . That said, I am, however,  going to need to repeat that $10,000 surgical procedure, in order to be able to walk without the brace, or even hope of hiking again.  Having maintained a career in Wellness, I have taken self responsibility very seriously, doing everything within my own power to maintain a healthy diet, continue to be active in ways that I can - swimming, riding a stationary bike, yoga, etc, and even starting the practice of meditating.  My hope is to undergo that follow up surgery sometime in the next six months, and thus I am reaching out to my friends for help in recouping the expenses I have incurred thus far, and prepare for round two. If down the road, I can provide some favor in kind, I would be happy to do so.  I am forever grateful to anyone who can contribute to my cause. ♥️
  • Nancy Seiler
    • $50 
    • 49 mos
  • Jeanne Twohig
    • $50 
    • 50 mos
  • Jan Snow
    • $25 
    • 50 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $150 
    • 50 mos
  • Julie Anton
    • $100 
    • 51 mos
See all


Katie Van Dorn
Missoula, MT

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