Help my Mom walk again

As you may have heard, my beautiful mother, Belea Bower, has become increasingly ill. In just a few years, my Mom has gone from an active, on-the-go flight attendant, loving mother and friend to a woman who can barely stand, walk, or even talk. She was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a genetic connective tissue disorder that causes many debilitating medical conditions. The complexity of her health problems and tireless search for answers has taken her out of state to doctors familiar with her condition. She hit a lot of dead ends, until now.Mom is finally getting the help she needs from one of the top EDS specialists, Dr. Fraser Henderson in Baltimore, MD. A brilliant neurosurgeon, he treats exactly her rare combination of EDS-related head, neck and spine problems. Dr. Henderson and another specialist diagnosed her with Tethered Cord Syndrome, Cranio-cervical Instability (think “bobble-head”) and other neurological problems that include an impeded flow of cerebral spinal fluid to her brain.

Mom is scheduled for her first surgery, a “Tethered Cord Release” in Baltimore. It’s a huge first step to get her walking again. Nothing else can correct the spinal cord problem or halt the progression of disability it causes. Basically, Mom’s spinal cord is pulled too tight for her spine, creating tension between her brain stem and low back. It makes her spine curve and twist, adding to nerve problems and pain. She suffers from extreme weakness and muscle loss from myelopathy. Her legs feel like they weigh 300 lbs. each, and she can’t hold herself fully upright unsupported. Mom probably needs additional surgeries—and hopefully soon—for the head and neck issues that affect her word-finding, vision, and cognitive abilities. If you didn’t know better, you might not recognize how badly these dysfunctions affect her and everyone around her.

We are very uncomfortable asking for your help. Unfortunately, surgery and related medical expenses cost a lot, even with insurance. Her highly specialized neurosurgeon is out-of-network, and he requires a large deposit upfront. Hospital and other charges go way beyond that. We are also coordinating plane tickets (not passes), transportation, and lodging. Her boyfriend, my sister, and I will take turns flying into Baltimore to help. She’ll be in the hospital for a minimum of three days, but must stay in the area at least two weeks until released for travel. We are coordinating this fundraiser together on her behalf to help pay a small part of these expenses.
I am asking you—family, loved ones, friends, and co-workers whose lives my Mom touched—to help get her on her feet again, literally. Together, we can help her walk again—and hopefully, talk and think clearly, too. (I think she misses being a chatterbox the most!) My Mom is a brilliant, headstrong woman, and a fighter. She’s been there for me through some really tough times. I want to do anything I can to get her quality of life back. I’m hoping you will join me.

Will you please consider making a donation to Belea Bower’s medical fund? I hope you will add my Mom to your prayer list and share this page with others who will, too. All contributions will go directly to her surgeries, related medical expenses and travel costs. Thank you and God bless you all!

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: A few weeks ago, Mom shared made a video to explain things to friends and family on her Facebook page. With her permission, I’m sharing it here:
For more information about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, see


 See top
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 18 mos
  • Sue Martin 
    • $200 
    • 40 mos
  • Doug/Susan Coupanger 
    • $50 
    • 40 mos
  • Verda Hanrahan 
    • $25 
    • 41 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 42 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Genessa Leigh Bower 
Knoxville, TN
Belea Bower 
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more