Thank you to all of my supporters for your caring heart and generosity. Unfortunately, my fight is not over. Although I was able to meet Dr. Norman, get my nuclear scan, and be prepped for surgery, it had to be postponed. I am leaving Tampa with a heavy heart knowing I still have to fight this disease a little while longer. If this illness teaches you anything, it's patience. Deep down, I understand why Dr. Norman is postponing surgery and I'm blessed to have a Doctor who is putting me first and not his wallet. Below is the email he sent me:
We are in this together. I have taken care of 25,000 patients, and when I take you on as a patient, I
take you forever. We will get to the bottom of this. This is what I do.
It is very hard to send people away. I want to make you feel better. I want to be the guy who fixes you. However, I have so much experience that I can tell the chances of success before we operate. I wouldn't operate on my family member in these circumstances, and so wouldn't operate on you.
Together we will figure this out!
See you this Fall/Winter,
I have every faith in the world in this doctor and I believe he will be the one to cure me, however, I need the diseased parathyroid gland to grow a little bit and show itself on the next scan. I must have faith that there's a time and purpose for everything. I'm not going to let this disease win. This is WHY we need more awareness in the medical community about this disease. It's a sneaky illness and very hard to treat in re-ops like myself for this reason- the gland has to show up on imaging. The surgeon does not want to create more scar tissue and look for a needle in a haystack while ruining my chances completely for a cure. Dr. Norman told me several times that my surgeon in January should have never touched me. He did more harm than good. I'm so angry but also grateful I have someone who is going to help me.
The funds you have all so generously donated have helped me expense my trip down here and get the ball rolling. It allowed me to meet Dr. Norman, get my scans, plan for the next steps and will pay the hospital bills that arrive shortly.
My my next trip down is more important than ever. I am hoping that is when I will win the health jackpot and this little bugger inside me shows itself on scan. The smallest donation will help me plan my next trip down to Tampa and hopefully this time, be cured! Thank you so much to each and every one of you who have continue to support me. I will continue to show patience and fight. This isn't over by a long shot.
With love and deep appreciation,
Kerry and the Dietz Family
Dear Family, Friends and Community,
I am a 39 year old mother of 2 beautiful children ages 3 and 6 and a wife to a wonderful loving husband of 10 years. I have started this fund raiser to help finance a much needed surgery for an illness I've been battling since 2001. The particular surgeon I've chosen to see is the top specialist in the world who ONLY treats this condition. His cure rate is extremely high but it requires me to travel to Tampa General Hospital in FL. After 2 previous failed surgeries with local surgeons, I'm confident that this MD will finally cure me. The disease is Hyperparathyroidism and here is my story:
In 2001, I was found to have a high calcium level during a routine chemistry panel. I had further testing done and found that one of my parathyroid glands (there are 4 pea sized glands that sit behind the thyroid) had a benign growth called an adenoma. My first surgery was in September 2001 and I was cured..or so I thought.
In April 2011 after having my daughter, I was told again that my calcium levels were high again. Since many doctors including endocrinologists are not very well educated in this particular disease, I was told to wait and have my levels checked periodically. For the last three years, I have spent a fortune in medical bills due to the symptoms of this disease which include:
- kidney stones
- memory loss and confusion
- muscle and joint aches/pains
- Gastrointestinal distress including ulcers, nausea and loss of appetite
- depression and severe anxiety
- heart palpitations and arrhythmias
My parathyroid glands are secreting too much hormone and signaling my bones to release calcium into my bloodstream. It is the toxic level of calcium flowing freely throughout my body that has caused the above symptoms.
On January 9, 2015, I went through my second parathyroid surgery performed by a specialist I was referred to at Columbia University. I was referred by my endocrinologist and than later told that he didn't cure me. I missed 11 days of work, went through a 2.5 hour surgery and overnight hospital stay only to find out I was not cured. My calcium is still dangerously high.
I turned my sadness and negativity into positivity and started my research which lead me to the website www.parathyroid.com. Dr. James Norman and his team who work out of Tampa General Hospital in FL perform thousands of parathyroid surgeries a year. Their only focus is parathyroid disease and roughly 8 operations per week are re-operations on individuals like myself who have gone through prior failed surgeries. I recently emailed Dr. Norman and included my operative report. I was thrilled when he responded and said I was a very good candidate for a 3rd operation and dare I say...a cure?
Each day that goes by with this disease is another day I am suffering with the symptoms listed above. At 39 years old, I don't want to live feeling like I'm 89. After discussing with my husband. We have decided that this is my last chance at a cure, however, we don't have the means to afford the surgery at this time. Only a portion will be covered by my health insurance, leaving me with a bill anywhere between $5k - $7k. That does not include travel and accommodations which we will be expensing with our tax return.
I want this chance more than anything. I want to feel good again. I want my children to have their Mom and my husband to have his wife back. Any donation would be greatly appreciated. As little as $1.00 will be another step towards my goal in traveling toward a cure. I thank you all for taking the time to read this and can't wait to get my health back!
For more information on this disease and what it can do, please go to the following:
- Holly Gaskill
- Bertha Barosky
- Gretchen Turner
- Valerie Snyder
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