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: https://youtu.be/zjeQxIIq0YI
For more information about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, see https://www.ehlers-danlos.com/
- Sue Martin
- Doug/Susan Coupanger
- Verda Hanrahan
Organizer and beneficiary
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