Help L. D.

Dear friends, my name is L. D. Burris and I have been a resident of Durham and a member of the Triangle  Arts scene for over 30 years. After a stint in the Marine Corps, I came to Durham to dance with Chuck Davis' African-American Dance Ensemble.  Later I co-founded the 2 Near The Edge Dance Company with (Duke Dance Professor) Keval Khalsa,
I have also directed and choreographed a number of shows for area schools, Universities and theater companies, including Raleigh Little Theatre.

Performing, choreographing, and teaching dance has been my life, and I have never wanted to do anything else.

In March of 2013 I was diagnosed with a spinal deformity called Spondylolisthesis, which causes the vertebrae of my lower back to shift out of place causing severe nerve pain.  For five years I have tried to deal with the disease by keeping active, exercising daily, doing physical therapy, getting massages,  and, when absolutely necessary, taking pain medicine.  But in the last year the shifting has increased, the exercises no longer provide any real relief, and I have  started to experience really bad nerve pain. I can no longer stand for more than a few minutes without experiencing numbness and pain in my legs, feet, and lower back, and though I take pain medicines daily they do not help. I am in constant pain, and the only real relief I have is when I sit down.  

The only solution left to me is a procedure called Spinal Fusion,  where an Orthopedic surgeon put pins and screws into the spine to align the the vertebrae correctly. This surgery will relieve the nerve pain and allow me to walk and stand without discomfort. I will be able to be active again, and maybe even dance again.

The sooner I have the surgery, the sooner the pain goes away.

I have health insurance which will cover much of the cost of the surgery, and access to Family Medical Leave, but the recovery period is 3 to 4 months, during which time I will have no salary and limited means to meet the out-of-pocket medical costs.  I have tried to postpone the surgery until I have more money, but it has become very hard to live with the pain.     

My goal is $10,000, and any amount will be appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your support and help during this trying time.
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Lavender Burris 
Durham, NC

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