Support the Martin & Barech Family!

From David Thaxton | 5.6.23

I have reopened this GoFundMe for the Martin & Barech family because they need our help and I know they wouldn’t ask. 

For everyone who supported this family last year raising over $28,000, you guys are rock stars!

They are headed back to California for Katie and Melissa, and this time Olive is going with them. Olive is showing the same symptoms as mama and grandma. 

The cost of this trip will be around $20,000.

I’ve increased the original goal of $28,000 to $48,000. 

I’ve asked Sam to explain, and you can see that below. Let’s help these folks again who help so many again and again! 

UPDATE from Sam: April 29, 2023

I’ll include an update on Katie and Melissa below but 1st I need to let you know about Olive (our 9-year-old).

Up to this point we haven’t told too many people about this but 6 weeks ago, after covid, Olive started to experience some of the same symptoms as Katie and Melissa (dizziness and headaches). The genes are strong with this family! We were praying that it would go away on its own but that isn’t happening. This has obviously been extremely difficult for us to watch especially for Katie who knows exactly what she is feeling. Olive was unable to continue to function at school with her headaches and balance issues, so we had to withdraw her and homeschool her for the remainder of this year.

We have been communicating with the doctors in California and they feel like Olive is a good candidate for the same “virtual reality” therapy that Katie and Melissa have been doing so we are trying to work fast and resolve this as quickly as possible. The staff at the clinic is being so accommodating and helpful and they’ve moved others around so that we could get in quicker and get this resolved. I’ll include an update on Katie and Melissa below, but we are also going to take this opportunity to bring Katie and Melissa back for some “in person” therapy which will be very beneficial. We are hoping to get Katie all the way back to 100% and make strides in Melissa’s progress. The VR therapy is really good but being there in person is a much better situation. We are told that we will see results much faster in person as they will be closely monitored by the Doctors there. We are planning on staying and being treated for 2 full weeks this time. We have been dealing with this for almost 2 years and it’s time to be done! We are looking forward to getting our lives back and getting our daughter well!

The cost of the travel and therapy will be about $18,000.00. Our health insurance is only good in Georgia so the cost will be 100% on us. The Newport-Mesa Audiology, Balance and Ear Institute (Dizziland) has been so great and discounted a substantial amount this time to help make this possible.

Katie and Melissa Updates:

Katie has experienced a lot of success with her treatment over the last 6 months. Although she has to be careful not to overdo it, she has started driving again and has been able to do much more than she could do before the VR treatment started!

Melissa has improved some but not as much as we had hoped for at this point. She has had some setbacks with migraines but that is being resolved which will allow the treatment to begin to be more effective. Katie experienced something similar but was resolved earlier on in the treatment so we are confident with melissa’s progress as we move forward.

I can’t put into words how loved and supported we have felt over the past couple years. I can honestly say that we have experienced what it says in Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Thank you!

Sam Martin

ORIGINAL POST: September 2022

Those who know the Martin and Barech family know they would never ask; therefore, their family and friends are asking for them.

Please take a moment to read their story and consider supporting them!

As many of you know, the Martins and Barechs have served Gateway Church on the leadership team since the beginning. They have impacted many lives and have supported their church family through many challenging times. Most recently, through the global pandemic and the passing of Gateway's founding pastor, Matt Hearn. As they have been doing so, their family has been going through a very challenging situation.

In June of last year, Katie came down with a cold that developed into vertigo and a complete loss of balance. Everyone expected that her symptoms would go away. However, they did not. After visiting several doctors and specialists, she was diagnosed with Meniere's disease. However, another group of specialists have given a second opinion and do not believe she has Meniere's disease. Today, Katie has shown minor improvements through different medications, but none have lasted, and most have severe side effects.

Six months after Katie became ill, after a COVID infection, her mother Melissa also developed vertigo that did not go away. In Melissa's case, doctors have found nerve damage that affects her visual processing and balance, among other things.

In the beginning, when Katie got sick, the family rallied together. Once Melissa became ill, things became increasingly difficult. Melissa and Katie have been to numerous local doctors and specialists and have undergone vestibular therapy. Katie & Melissa experience severe migraines, among other daily symptoms that prevent them from doing regular activities like working, driving, ministry, reading, and spending time with their family. However, with the help of their family and friends this family has continued to pray and search for answers.

Katie's husband Sam recently discovered a clinic in California that deals with vestibular disorders and has a 93% success rate with their treatments. This family is taking a leap of faith, and they have scheduled appointments for Katie and Melissa at the end of October.

As we all know, travel and medical costs like these are very high. To support this family with the costs of their travel, initial evaluation, and ongoing treatment, the goal of this fundraiser is $28,000.

Please support this family as they take their next step of faith!

Thank you!

Donations (134)

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  • Catriona Martin
    • $25 
    • 4 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $1,000 
    • 4 mos
  • Hope Stephens
    • $50 
    • 4 mos
  • Janice Demcio
    • $100 
    • 5 mos
  • Mychelle Hurt
    • $300 
    • 5 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

David Thaxton
Bloomingdale, GA
Sam Martin

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