Help Amber KICK Crohn's!!

Introducing Amber Chyrelle Osteen... 

And her fan club... AKA Beautiful Family...

Matt, Lily and Isla

She is an absolutely gorgeous wife, mom of two beautiful little girls and my very best friend . I have been blessed to call her my "Bestie" since my 16th birthday, when she moved to a tiny little town in Montana, with her Aunt and Uncle. We share our unique friendship with our other dear friend, Abby. Our amazing friendship has endured the strain of time and distance. We have laughed, loved, cried and hoped together for nearly two decades. Recently, Abby and I learned that Amber was quite sick and needed medicine that her already struggling family cannot afford.

So...What can YOU do to help?

This awful beast is Crohn's disease and has been untreated up until now... There is a chance that a medication called Remicade can give her back the life she had and give her husband back his Wife and her children, their Mama.

Here is a bit of "education" of Crohn's...

Crohn's disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It usually affects the intestines, but may occur anywhere from the mouth to the end of the rectum. Ulcerative colitis is a related condition.

**Ulcerative colitis is a condtion in which the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum become inflamed.

The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. People with this condition have problems with the immune system. However, it is not clear if immune problems cause this illness. Stress and certain foods can trigger symptoms, but they do not cause ulcerative colitis.

Ulcerative colitis may affect any age group. There are peaks at ages 15 - 30 and then again at ages 50 - 70.

The disease can begin the rectal area. It may involve the entire large intestine over time. It may also start in the rectum and other parts of the large intestine at the same time.

The symptoms can be more or less severe. They may start slowly or suddenly. About half of people only have mild symptoms. Others have more severe attacks that occur more often. Many factors can lead to attacks.

Symptoms include:
Pain in the abdomen (belly area) and cramping.
A gurgling or splashing sound heard over the intestine.
Blood and pus in the stools.
Diarrhea, from only a few episodes to very often.
Feeling that you need to pass stools, even though your bowels are already empty. It may involve straining, pain, and cramping (tenesmus).
Weight loss.

 Now that you are up to speed...

While reading a recent post by Amber regarding her illness and financial struggles, I felt compelled to do
something...Something BIG!

Amber has been my truest friend. She has been my cheerleader and my strength when I felt I couldn't go on in my own life struggles. Abby suggested in this post a "gofundme" page... My heart lept with excitement and my brain started calculating. If 250 people dontated just $25, that would be $6,250! My mind went into overdrive as I considered the possibilities!! We can DO THIS!!!

My goal is $10,000!!
I would like us, their friends and family,  to help pay for Amber's infusions, medications, babysitting, gas etc... during this difficult time for the Osteens. I would really like to be able to pay for a cleaning service and possibly meals, while Amber is having her infusions. (More on "Meals" later...I found a neat website for these and am looking into this possibility.)
This is a time in our best friend's life that Abby and I wish we all lived in the same city and could be there to do all the things that Amber cannot. Things that Matt has been burdened with on top of his full time job and the job of being a Daddy and Husband. Matt now has to do "Mommy's jobs" too!

I asked Amber to help me with this project. I gave her "homework" and asked her to explain her family's hardship. I wanted to have YOU be able to get the facts straight from Amber. It took her a few days, as she is so physically exhausted right now. Amber spoke very humbly and from her heart.
You couldn't choose to help a better woman or family. Amber and Matt are something else. They are two of the most kind, caring, loyal and loving people I have ever had the pleasure to know. They are hard working parents and good Christians. I know that if "the shoe were on the other foot" they would be first in line to help out.

Here is what Amber has to say...

"I am a wife to a loving man who has been my best friend for 12 years. I am a mother to 2 sweet and beautiful girls: Lily, 8 and Isla, 2. My youngest brother and I are the 3rd generation of our family working for the company my grandfather started in 1976. Work, home, and family keep me very busy and fulfilled.

Since the birth of my second child, Isla, I have had several health concerns. After a year or so of pain, fatigue, & severe anemia, I finally had a hysterectomy in April 2014. Endometriosis had taken over much of my internal abdomen and caused quite a bit of damage. After the surgery, when the pain just wasn’t letting up like it should, and after many failed attempts by my OBGYN to find the problem, she had a CT scan ordered. The CT scan showed an inflamed colon, so she immediately referred me to a gastroenterologist. Within 3 weeks of my hysterectomy, a colonoscopy delivered the news that I had moderate to severe Crohn’s Disease. After all the pain, the doctor bills, the hospital bills, the missed work, and the missed time with family, I thought the hysterectomy was the light at the end of the tunnel. However, my journey had just begun. A lifelong, incurable journey, at that.

Since my diagnosis, I have missed a tremendous amount of work due to the pain and constant restroom demands of Crohn’s Disease, and due to several doctor’s visits, lab and outpatient visits, and traveling an hour and a half to my gastroenterologist. This has caused undue stress on my husband to take on what I could/cannot in the house and as a parent. It has also caused a financial hardship on us, as a family. Gas, medication, copays, deductibles, co-insurance, babysitters, food that meets dietary restrictions, and lowered paychecks have all compounded into us being in financial distress.

Besides a short dose of steroids, my Crohn’s Disease has gone untreated for the last 6 months since diagnosis. My gastroenterologist feels an aggressive, quick approach is best. “Let’s get in remission and STAY in remission” is the goal. Remicade, a biologic drug given by IV infusion, along with some other medication, is his first recommendation. Remicade is extremely expensive, even with insurance. My insurance will cover a part of it once I meet my deductible and co-insurance for the year. Unfortunately, my first treatment alone will cost me $2,500 out of pocket. The doctor is unable to finance that, as Remicade charges him up front, as well. The second treatment will cost around $1,000 out of pocket and the third treatment will be around $900. Therefore, I will need to come up with $4,400 within the 1st month or so of treatment. This is an impossible task for an already struggling family like ours."

Matthew 17:20
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Please help Us MOVE MOUNTAINS for Amber!

I love you, Osteen Family!! 



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Justine Olivia Smith 
Casper, WY
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