Jeffery's Medical Fund

My name is Jeffery Alto. I am 21 years old and currently battling 3 severe and debilitating diseases:  Erythema Nodosum, Uveitis, and Familial Mediterranean Fever. This has been my life for over a year now.
     My medical decline begain in January 2014, when I developed a rash on my legs and trouble breathing. Prior to this I was very healthy- always working out, playing sports, just an overall active person. A few weeks into January this rash, known as Erythematosus, took over my legs from the kneecaps down to my toes with swelling, fire-red bumps, burning, andloss of circulation to both of my legs for days. I was admitted to the hospital for two weeks, during which time numerous doctors admitted they didn't know what was causing it or how to stop it from getting worse. The pain was so excruciating it became hard to function.  
     Within weeks I began waking up with blurry vision and red, swollen eyes, which was diagnosed as Uveitis and was causing damage to the nerves in both of my eyes.  I had granulomas growing inside both of my lungs, causing me to cough up blood and have wheezing. I was being sent to see a rheumatologist, a neurologist, a gastroenterologist, an infectious disease specialist, and an ophthalmologist. By now I was on powerful steroids to treat the Uveitis, and was being given CAT scans, MRIs, and full-body x-rays to try and figure out why my body systems were failing. I immediately had to have lung surgery, which ultimately helped the doctors reach a new diagnosis: Sarcoidosis.  This disease has been causing my immune system to attack my body.
     Even though I was working with Sarcoidosis specialists, I was still developing new symptoms. I had chronic diarrhea, stomach pains, drowsiness and insomnia, joint pain, severe headaches, high fevers, and overall body swelling. Months of this followed and I was diagnosed with another autoimmune disease, Familial Mediterranean Fever. 
      My symptoms continue to get worse because the doctors are unable to treat all of the diseases simultaneously. At least once a month I have flare-ups that put me in the hospital. I am at risk for severe complications to routine illnesses, like colds and stomach viruses. I'm unable to work due to my doctors' restrictions, and the cost of my illnesses is prohibitive. I have Medicaid health insurance, but it doesn't cover everything. My mother, who is a single parent of 5 and on disability herself, has been covering the difference when she's able, but I could still receive better treatment and medications with more resources.

 Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I would truly appreciate any help and support you might be able to offer.
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Organizer

Jeffery Alto 
Organizer
New York, NY
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