Here is their story:
Shortly after that birth of their son Colin Caleb in 2011, new mother Nicole started to experience symptoms that she wrote off as “normal ailments” that go along with becoming a Mother. Symptoms such as extreme fatigue, debilitating muscle and joint pain, hair loss, etc.
These symptoms became worse as several months went by. Finally other symptoms developed that couldn't be ignored, prompting Nicole to finally address with her primary care physician.
After several Specialist consultations; endless blood work ups and diagnostic testing, Nicole was diagnosed with Lupus SLE (along with advanced Stage 4 CKD, Sjogren's Disease, severe neurological and liver damage all piggybacking conditions of Lupus) in October of 2012. Unbelievable amount of organ damage, and the advance stages of the secondary medical conditions led Nicole's Medical Team to come to the conclusion that Lupus had been active (but undiagnosed) for years.
To try to prevent the Lupus from wreaking any more havoc on her organs, the health care team started started Nicole on a wide regimen of medications and also a strong round of I.V. Cytoxan which is used in Chemotherapy to get it into remission so she could be eligible to be placed on the Kidney Transplant list.
Unfortunately, the strong immunosuppressants, corticosteroids, and other medications her health care team put her on to reverse the Lupus had taken an even more severe toll on her organs, especially her heart. Causing a condition called Cardiomyopathy...otherwise known as Heart Failure.
With the failed attempts to get the Lupus into remission, Nicole can not be a candidate for a transplant. During last winter Nicole’s health started to really decline. Stage 4 CKD ended up End Stage Renal Disease and she began Dialysis.
Due to the Cardiomyopathy, dialysis is dangerous for Nicole to undergo the suggested amount of weekly dialysis treatments.
In June, Nicole and her family had to face the devastating news that she had six to twelve months to “get her affairs in order” A terrible truth that no young family with a young child should ever have to face.
Due to Medical Expenses, Child Care Expenses (to assist in the daily care of their son Colin) and Nicole’s husband losing his job because of the situation and his own physical issues; Nicole and husband Evan lost their home and had to move back home with Colin to their parents.
The past few years have been very financially difficult. 2015 being the worst thus far, they do not have the funding to pay for important expenses such as continuing to pay for Colin’s tuition to his PreSchool, vehicle repairs that have caused them to not have their car on the road since early November, and unfortunately for this upcoming Christmas.
Anyone that has ever known Nicole always agree that they had never met someone so beautiful, kind, caring, empathetic towards others, and above all...selfless.
Nicole has always put others first to the point where she has often gone without herself so another person could be happy.
Nicole is an amazing mother. Despite of Nicole's pain and suffering from her illness, she never shows her worry or tears in front of her son Colin. Sometimes foolishly pushing the envelope in overexerting herself in playing with Colin because of her guilt that she can't play with him like other Moms can play with their children.
Nicole, Evan, and Colin have begun Grief Therapy, working up to the terrible discussion with Colin about what will happen to Mommy that they must soon have.
The Brooks Family live every day as their last, trying to make the best of such a tragic situation.
When Nicole was first approached about creating this page, she did not want it to happen.
As mentioned before, Nicole being extremely selfless (and also shy!) It took much convincing for her to allow it as she does not consider herself deserving.
With the unfortunate situation of living each day as their last with the upsetting reality in the back of their minds, it is a terrible thing to think of them having to deal with additional hardships like school tuition, car repairs and above all giving their son Colin a deserving Christmas that will quite possibly be their last spent altogether.
Through this Gofundme Campaign, we are hoping to raise funds for the above mentioned hardships along with current and future medical bills, and other assistance that they may need in the coming months.
Please keep the Brooks family in your hearts and prayers. Any donation will be appreciated, even if your “donation” is as simple as sharing this page on your Social Media Pages.
Thank you for all of your love and support!
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- Deborah Bouckley
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