Von Hippel Lindau Disease attacks multiple organs in the body, causing cancerous tumors and cysts in the brain, the cervical spine, the eyes, the pancreas, the kidneys, and the reproductive organs.
Hannah’s father died from complications related to VHL when he was in his twenties. She was a child.
Two of her brothers have died from complications related to VHL, and the disease has attacked sisters, nieces, nephews, and other family members.
Hannah has survived multiple surgeries throughout her lifetime, including procedures on her cervical spine, her eyes, her kidneys, and her brain. Her right kidney has been completely removed because of the disease, and she has one-half of her left kidney remaining.
As I type this, Hannah is involved in one of her most challenging battles with VHL.
Hannah’s most recent trip for VHL treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, occurred on June 17, 2019. She began pre-operative procedures on June 18, including a June 19 angiogram and embolization to reduce blood flow to a tumor in her cerebellum. Brain surgery began June 20 at approximately 10:00 a.m. and ended at 5:00 p.m.
Hannah survived surgery at the Mayo Clinic, and following stays in intensive care and the general population, she was moved to the recovery and rehabilitation wing of the hospital for intensive in-patient occupational therapy, physical therapy, and vocal/cognitive therapy. Hannah was discharged from Mayo on July 10 after a stay of 21 days. However, the road to recovery will be long and arduous.
Following her discharge from Mayo, Hannah immediately entered the outpatient recovery and rehabilitation stages of her treatment, both of which include continuing intensive occupational therapy, physical therapy, and vocal/cognitive therapy. Hannah’s doctors have advised her that outpatient therapy may last as long as a period of three months.
Before Hannah was admitted for surgery, she was working part-time as a Peer Support Specialist for Hope Haven at a drop-in center in Fort Madison, Iowa. She was assisting clients who have developmental and physical issues similar to her own. She will be out of work for some time because of her surgery and recovery, but her clients and her colleagues are anxious for her return. Obviously, during the surgery, recovery, and rehabilitation periods, she will have no income.
Hannah’s hospitalization, surgery, recovery, and rehabilitation are creating serious financial issues for her and for her husband. As you might imagine, all of this has been and continues to be very expensive.
Please consider offering financial support for Hannah as she continues her recovery.
Thank you, and God bless.
The note above is from my good friend Charles - husband to Hannah. We developed a close friendship in college, working on literary magazines and in clubs. Some of my friends and family may remember Charles as the poet who read at my wedding. I'm running this campaign to help Hannah raise some money to help with the medical bills and subsequent costs Charles describes above. Any money we raise will go directly to Hannah and Charles. Thanks!
- James Upton
- Rebecca Rump
- David Ure
- Sarah Heller
Organizer and beneficiary
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