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Help Kendall Fight MS

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KENDALL’S STORY

Hello friends, family, colleagues, and our community, my name is Zachary Storey and I am Kendall Leary’s partner of the past 9 years. I appreciate you all taking the time to come here and listen to her story.

On Wednesday February 7, 2024 Kendall went to the Mount Sinai Eye and Ear Emergency room for ongoing blurred vision and what appeared to be “lagging eye movements” that started on Sunday February 4, 2024.

We met with an ophthalmologist and very quickly realized this was serious. The ophthalmologist conducted an eye exam and found this wasn’t an ‘eye’ problem, it was a neurological problem.

On Thursday February 8, 2024, Kendall was transferred to the Mount Sinai Hospital on the Upper East Side to be in the best care possible for what was next. Upon arrival, Kendall had numerous eye tests, blood tests, a CT scan, and an emergency MRI. The Mount Sinai team worked fast, methodically, and were very transparent and communicative during this very scary first day.


DIAGNOSIS

After yielding test results, the Neurology team came to visit. They confirmed the suspicions of the emergency room Ophthalmologist: This is a serious autoimmune demyelinating neurodegenerative disease, likely Multiple Sclerosis. Kendall's diagnosis was confirmed at a follow-up appointment the following week with her doctor: Relapse Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. This is the most common of the 4 different forms of MS, and the most treatable. Her doctors assured her there was nothing she did or could've done differently to prevent her diagnosis.

During the course of Kendall's 6-day stay at Mount Sinai Hospital, she had access to 2 different world-renowned MS specialists that were Kendall's designated doctors. They ran extensive and thorough tests and gave her world class care. Though the situation felt shocking and traumatic, we found many silver-linings along the way. An incredible care team, a loving and attentive support system, and a resilient patient that has always taken on any challenge head on.

DISCHARGE & TREATMENT

After undergoing countless blood tests, a spinal tap, 2 more MRI’s, and 5 days of steroid infusions, Kendall was discharged from Mount Sinai Hospital on Tuesday February 13, 2024. Her doctor’s goal is for a full return to normalcy. She took well to her short term steroid treatment and has continued to recover tremendously well over the past few weeks.

She is currently discussing a long-term treatment plan with her doctor. Again, she is in great hands and couldn't be happier with her medical team both at the hospital and clinic going forward.

Due to ongoing symptoms, Kendall is unable to work for the near future but we are hopeful she will be able to return soon. This will be dependent on her symptoms continuing to resolve and how well she takes to and tolerates medication.

KENDALL’S MEDICAL EXPENSES

Substantial medical expenses have incurred over the past several weeks and we now know that they will continue to incur over the course of her life. Her insurance does not cover a lot of medical and personal expenses, she has a sizable deductible and she will continue to have significant treatment cost the rest of her life. She has immediate and pressing short term needs and even greater long term needs. Treatment for MS is very expensive, with some of the latest and best treatments exceeding $70,000 a year. Outside of medical treatment, we expect preventative physical and occupational therapy cost as well. While we don’t know what the exact cost of this disease will be long term, we know it will be great.

Kendall will be using your donations to firstly cover these short term financial needs: insurance deductible, follow up doctor visits, a second opinion, and day-to-day expenses. Secondly, any donations exceeding her preliminary goal will be used for her long term treatment needs. This is a lifelong disease and an expensive one at that. Please donate what you can, **if you can**. Even a dollar helps. There are many ways to help Kendall whether it be donating, sharing, or simply sending positive thoughts.

We will keep everyone updated through the GoFundMe. Please allow Kendall time to respond to your messages, as she continues to process the diagnosis and consider her treatment plan going forward.

Kendall has always been resilient and she will continue to be resilient. Thank you for all your love and support.

THANK YOU TO THE TEAM (Medical, Family & Beyond)

I can’t speak for everyone, but I know these past few weeks have been the hardest and scariest of my life, and the hardest and scariest of Kendall’s life. Kendall and I learned a lot about gratitude during those two weeks. Kendall repeated a few times to me in the hospital, "I feel so lucky." Nothing about her situation seemed lucky, but the overwhelming feeling of gratitude seemed to conquer our fears, our doubt, and our grief. Gratitude for what we do have. A family willing to drop everything and ensure Kendall didn't spend a minute alone, always helping to make her smile or laugh. Friends who visited with flowers, food, chocolate, humor, and love. The team at Mount Sinai: the nurses, the doctors, the people who came in to clean the room, change the bedding, bring food, and the list goes on. Kendall had an intentionally tight-knit group of friends and family around her and we couldn’t be more grateful for the sacrifices they made.


ABOUT KENDALL (for those who know her and those who don't)

Kendall is an actress, activist, and Brooklyn-based dog mom. You can find her playing shortstop in an adult softball league, walking her dog through McCarren Park, or saying phrases like "why do the Mets let me down every year?" I would describe Kendall as a strong and independent woman, she is smart, she is caring, she is artistic, kind and empathetic, an involved friend, daughter, and partner. She's got a 'do it herself' attitude and for that reason, I never see her ask for help. In fact, I've only ever been on the receiving end of it or seen her offer it. But as someone we love often reminds her "accept gracefully." And if there is one thing I know about Kendall Grace Leary, she does everything with grace, and maybe a little spunk.


*PLEASE ALSO CONSIDER DONATING TO DEMYELINATING DISEASE RESEARCH AND SUPPORT*
Multiple Sclerosis - MS Society Donation Page
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Donations 

  • Anonymous
    • $1,000 
    • 2 mos
  • Nicholas Linsky
    • $725 
    • 2 mos
  • David Coleman
    • $25 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Kerry Lynn
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
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Fundraising team (2)

Kendall Leary
Organizer
Brooklyn, NY
Zachary Storey
Team member

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