Kirsten is currently on “Imuran” and “Ursodeoxycholic acid”. The Imuran is a strong Immune Suppressant medication taken daily to reduce flare ups for Autoimmune Disease. She has been a non responder to this medication thus far. Currently she is awaiting to be approved for the new drug called “Obeticholic Acid,” which is a long process. This is the first drug in 20 years to come out to treat PBC. Three years ago Kirsten had her Gallbladder removed with emergency surgery and a liver biopsy which confirmed the diagnosis. Recently she had a surgical procedure done at UCLA called “Biliary sphincterotomy” cutting of the biliary sphincter.
Kirsten’s Gastroenterologist said that she now needs “Intravenous immunoglobulin” (IVIG) as soon as possible, but since the treatment is so expensive, these therapies usually have to be paid out of pocket. Insurance companies almost alway deny this expensive treatment as it is based on human Plasma Donations. In order to make(IVIG), blood is collected from at least 15,000 donors. It's pooled together and treated in special ways to collect immunoglobulin G, which is an antibody. The average cost is $3,500 per treatment. Kirsten’s Insurance has unfortunately denied her treatment once again and she needs at minimum four treatments just to start. Administering this antibody may help fight some forms of the diseases and reduce inflammation.. It is the treatment of choice for patients with antibody deficiencies and certain Auto Immune Diseases. Without this treatment a Liver Transplant could be in her future.
We are hoping to get Kirsten the help she needs to boost her immune system so she could fight off other illness as well. She has been in and out of the hospital the last few years for weeks at a time and needs treatment to regain strength to care for her three children.
Thank you for supporting Kirsten and understanding this very difficult time in her life. With the right help, we all can get her the help she needs. Any amount makes a difference. If you can’t make a donation, prayers, love and support would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all for helping Kirsten go into a remission state and go back to living the life she used to. God bless.
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