A Day in the Life of Jeannine

Dear Family and Friends of Jeannine,

We all know Jeannine lives with type one diabetes, a condition she has lived with since the age of seven. What some of you might not know or understand, as I didn’t before persuading Jeannine to set up this fundraiser to help her, is not only the regimen of drugs and medical visits she has to undertake but also the constant monitoring of a complex disease that is not always necessary with other complex diseases. In the case of type one diabetes, however, without this constant monitoring of blood sugar, our Jeannine would die, as she almost did when she was seven, saved only by her mother’s disregard for the doctor’s bad advice and a team of medical experts at the hospital to which she took her precious daughter—our precious friend.

To keep her blood sugar regulated, Jeannine has to prick her finger at least four times a day to adjust the amount of insulin her body needs; she has to take up to twelve drugs a day to regulate her heart, breathing, asthma, allergies, high blood pressure,  the ability to walk, and more, the cause of these secondary health issues being the diabetes; and she has to change the insertion point of her insulin pump through her skin every three days so that she doesn’t develop an infected sore, which could be fatal, in order to deliver the insulin her body is unable to regulate naturally, and that keeps her alive and with all of us who love her.

Jeannine was reluctant to set up a GoFundMe, thinking it would make her sound like a loser. But we all know Jeannine is anything but a loser. She is a resilient survivor, a true friend, a fierce and tender parent, and a courageous woman. She is easy to make laugh when her blood sugar is regulated, making her easy company to be with. And when she is not, she almost always immediately knows it’s because her body is in need of sugar—oftentimes, her children help to stabilize her blood sugar with the help of juice, until the insulin from her pump can do its job again and restore Jeannine to a functioning level again.

As you can imagine, the amount of energy it takes to work full time and be a full-time parent plus constant monitoring of her insulin levels, as well as the secondary issues diabetes has brought with it, can be exhausting. It is also expensive—and, so, the reason for this small fundraiser for our Jeannine.

I hope we can raise $4,000 for her. This money would allow her to pay for her insulin and other medicines, including supplies for her insulin pump, which are becoming increasingly expensive—and unbelievably not fully covered by her insurance plan; out of pocket expenses for three-monthly visits to her neurologist and endocrinologist to monitor her condition; cover some recent hospital bills whose tests confirmed the rare and debilitating condition of Stiff Person Syndrome; and create a small cushion of funds to cover rent and other bills when her employers don’t pay her in a timely fashion, which is often and not at all unusual in the publishing world.

Jeannine’s out of pocket medical expenses currently add up to roughly $2770 a year, though the costs of her co-pays are about to go up. She has about $600 in hospital bills. And the remainder would be the much-needed cushion.

Whatever you can give, even a few dollars, will quickly add up to the amount I hope to raise for her, especially if you also share this fundraiser with anyone who may not know Jeannine but would be willing to contribute. Many of you, like Jeannine, live pay check to pay check because jobs simply do not pay enough these days. And, as I said earlier, Jeannine was reluctant to ask. But we all need help sometimes, in one way or another, and for Jeannine, whatever financial help we can give her now will not only be so very much appreciated, it will also ease her daily stress to make ends meet, which in turn will help her health overall, even though there is no cure yet for her illness.

Thank you so much.
Zuli Souza & Shelley, Jeannine's friends in New York


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Organizer and beneficiary

Shelley Souza 
New York, NY
Jeannine Walls Thibodeau 
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