Have a Heart

In the spring of 2011 I was diagnosed with an eating disorder, the recovery for which would put my entire life on hold as I spent the fall after my senior year in a rehab facility instead of college classes. After successfully regaining weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle for a year, I enrolled in University classes ready to embark on what I felt would be the rest of my life as a relatively normal, healthy adult. Six years later my life has become anything but, with the past year becoming an ever more intense cycle of doctors' appointments, tests, treatments, and medications.
I have finally been diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart will stretch and dilate, growing weaker as the muscles struggle to properly circulate blood throughout the body. This accounts for the many incidents of heart palpitations, dizziness, edema, and fainting I have experienced over the past year or so. I also already struggled with mental health and an anxiety disorder, the symptoms and effects which only aggravate and often trigger my heart condition. I am, luckily, in the early stages of this condition, and with a lot of lifestyle changes and some careful monitoring may even be able to heal my heart muscles over time. However, these lifestyle changes, which include switching to a plant-based, vegan diet, building physical exercise into my routine, and sticking to my medications, are not cheap. I'm also facing the struggles of paying off student loans from school while trying to work two jobs in an effort to pay my bills. The hospital bills from the past few months alone total in the thousands, and that even with retroactive coverage from my new insurance. I can't do this alone.
I have never been good at asking for help, but I'm hoping that with your aid I can not only pay off some of the bills, but also afford my day-to-day expenses that my income doesn't meet as well as the things I need to someday reach full physical health. Other ways you can help include everything from emotional support, humor, prayer, and good vegan recipes (as an inherent cheese-lover parts of this lifestyle are going to harder than others)! It would mean so much to me if you would consider donating to help me attain a healthy life! Thank you!
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Grace Doolittle 
Scranton, PA
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