It started seven years ago when Brittney was 10. Stomach pain. Doctors had several diagnosis', but never the right one. The MRI's and ultrasounds all came back clear. They determined it must be a stomach virus. After further pushing and more tests they finally got an answer after 4 years: Brittney was diagnosed with Chronic Pancreatitis [Inflammation of the pancreas that does not heal or improve].This illness is extremely rare in children and Doctors are not able to determine the cause.
This past year has been challenging for Brittney. Since September of 2016 she has been hopspitalized five times due to pain from inflammation. She describes the pain from a flare up as an excruciating, stabbing pain in her center and right abdomen. Sometimes it subsides. Other times it's constant. When it is constant and unmanageable, it usually means hospitalization. Brittney and her family are grateful for all that Children's Hospital OC has done to love, support, and treat her, but because there is limited knowledge of chronic pancreatitis, there are limitations to the care and treatment she receives. There is no cure, no hope for improvement, and if Brittney continues at the current rate she is at, she will have to be admitted to the hospital every other month.
This reality has been tough on Brittney. Because of the pain and hospitalizations, she's had to give up sports, dance, and has had to switch to a homeschool program. It's been tough on her family as it is difficult to see her in pain and not be able to get the answers they need. There has been a glimmer of hope for help--BOSTON. The National Pancreas Foundation is in Boston. The best medical staff equipped to treat patients like Brittney are in Boston. Pancreatitis research is in Boston. Answers are in Boston. We need to get Brittney to Boston!
It sounds so easy, but there are some obstacles that stand in the way. Brittney lives with her mom, Terri, who works extremely hard to provide for Brittney and her 2 sisters. For Terri, taking time off from work is not an option as it would cause great financial stress. Brittney's dad, Carlos faces the same challenge. The cost of travel, lodging, and medical bills isn't in the cards for her family to handle right now.
How can you help? First and foremost, you can pray. Pray for healing, pray for answers, pray for God's provision and continued grace. Brittney's anchor in all of this has been her faith in Jesus Christ and she truly appreciates every prayer and has handled this trial so admirably.
If you feel led, you can donate. ANY amount will help. Brittney and Terri would never ask for monetary support from anyone as they are very humble. I am asking on their behalf and hope that we can all rally around Brittney during this challenging time and get her one step closer to the help she needs.
If you know Brittney, then you know what an amazing girl she is. Extremely kind and thoughtful, so gentle and sweet. She puts others before herself and would do all she can to help her loved ones; let's do the same for her. Together we can spread the word and get Brittney to Boston!