Who is Karen Strickholm?

·        Karen lives in Truth Or Consequences, NM with her two rescue dogs, Chico and Babe and a wonderfully odd-ball new collection of friends and now, medical support team members.

·        She ran a successful national marketing/PR company in Los Angeles and then Santa Fe.

·        Now unable to work, Karen is trying to recover from a decade of medical and financial crises.

·        Karen has helped others all her life. Now she needs your help.

What happened to Karen?

·        Karen had a rare brain tumor since birth that slowly grew on her pituitary gland.

·        For years, she battled unexplained weight gain, opportunistic infections, fatigue, asthma, brittle bones, chronic pain, and severe inflammation which caused a height loss of 3.5”.

·        In 2008, her condition was finally diagnosed at age 50, followed by her first surgery to remove the benign but devastating tumor.

·        After a brief recovery, the tumor returned, more lethal than before. A second surgery in 2011 left her in a coma with collapsed lower lungs, fighting for her life.

·        She won that battle, but shortly afterward, Karen suffered a usually fatal pulmonary emboli shower - her second near-death experience.

·        After intensive care and rehab, she was sent home in a wheelchair and on oxygen, a condition Karen remained in for several years.

·        Upon doctor’s orders, she moved to a lower altitude that would help her lung recovery.

·        Her day is now scheduled around taking a complicated regimen of medications and supplements to replace missing hormones and support her healing lungs, as well as a new, aggressive rehabilitation program six days a week.

·        Karen was declared medically home-bound a year ago.

 Why is Karen in financial straits?

·        Karen lost substantial income because she has only been able to work part-time since 2008.

·        All her savings and retirement funds have been spent on medical costs over the last decade.

·        She was able to get by until the last 2+ years, when she hasn’t been able to work at all.

·        Because she was successful in business, Karen ironically does not qualify for any aid, even though her out-of-pocket medical expenses place her in poverty.

·        Her current medical bills are so high that she currently gets further behind every month.

·        She requires medical aides for basic life activities – bathing and dressing, carrying, food prep, cleaning, errands – a monthly cost she must pay out of pocket.

·        Karen’s car is dead, and the town’s only taxi service closed. She needs medical transport to attend multiple rehab appointments one hour away – another out-of-pocket cost.

·        As a rare disease patient, Karen does not have any national support network to lean on for home care and medical travel – common benefits available to patients with cancer, HIV or MS.

·        Karen does not have spouse, children or family to offer support – she is in this on her own.

·        While Karen dearly hopes to return to work, she may not be able to.  Long-term financial restructuring now will ensure she’s never in this terrifying position again.

 What does Karen need to get back on her feet financially and physically?

·        Help right now to handle current medical, food and shelter needs.  Come late fall, some new state social services are hopefully going to come on board, easing the burden.

·        Immediate help paying for food, shelter, and home health aides – critical assistance at this time.

·        Funds for a four-day trip in late fall (assuming wounds have healed sufficiently) for next phase of treatment from Dr. Susan Samson, her Houston, TX endocrinologist aka the female “Dr. House” -- an expert on her rare condition -- who provided the new diagnosis and treatment plan, offering new hope for a real recovery.

 How can you help Karen?

·        The current Help-Karen-Walk-Again campaign will support Karen in regaining full mobility.

·        Expert wound and pain management care will help resolve the extremely painful wounds she currently suffers from. These wounds were caused by her previously undiagnosed endocrine system failure, now stabilized.

·        Any contribution of any size toward these goals would be most appreciated via a one-time gift or an a monthly pledge.

·        If you prefer to contribute by paying an expense directly, links are provided.

·        Thank you for your support! More information, updates and pictures will coming as the campaign progresses!

To contribute: 

>>  PayPal
>>  In-kind contribution – all links right here !
>>  Snail mail (514 Kopra Street, TorC, NM 87901)
 Written By Mary Pitzer & Katie Adams ~ Gratitude!


  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 1 mo
  • Victoria Vail 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Lisa Yamatoya 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • michelle combs 
    • $10 
    • 3 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 4 mos
See all


Karen Strickholm 
Truth Or Consequences, NM
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