Meaghan's MS Fund Raiser

In 2003 our daughter Meaghan was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Through the years she has had many treatments to manage her MS, as there is currently no cure. In September 2018, she and her husband wanted to start a family. She stopped taking all the medications she was on, as they have been shown to cause serious birth defects. After only being off her medication for a week, she had a serious flair. She could barely walk, could not drive and could not work. An MRI showed multiple new lesions on her brain and in her spinal cord.  The treatment that she had at that time was a course of five plasma exchanges plus an infusion. Unfortunately, the treatment was unsuccessful and she endured five more plasma exchanges and another infusion. She was unable to work for the next 6 months. Because of the lingering effects of the flair, she is now only able to work 20 hours a week. While she has insurance, they will not pay 100% of the treatments. Plus, as she has not been able to work and can now only work part time, she is unable to pay her student loans. Right now, her student loans are in default and they could take her house. The hospital is also demanding payment. Any help would be appreciated. For more of Meaghan’s story and her battle with MS continue reading.

In 2006 our daughter, Meaghan decided to become a veterinarian technician. We are not a family with a lot of money so both our children knew if they wanted to go to school after they graduated from high school, they would need to come up with the money themselves. So, Meaghan found a school and obtained student loan(s) to cover the tuition. She was successful in her schooling and eventually got a job as a veterinarian technision. She was very determined to become a vet tech. and would not let anything get in her way, including the MS she had been fighting for a number of years. She was diagnosed with this dreadful and debilitating disease at 15 years of age.

This was shown to be true during finals week. She was having a MS flare up that made it nearly impossible for her to hold a pencil, walk straight or drive. She was prescribed three treatments of a steroid IV drip. A nurse came to our home and put a stint into her arm so we could give her the treatments at home. After 7 treatments, she was still having symptoms. The week of the finals started with her taking the sixth and seventh treatments on Monday and Tuesday. She was not going to miss the finals because of this MS flare up. So, her brother, mother and I drove her to and from school. So, there she sat in class Monday morning ready to take her test, barely able to hold a pencil and with the stint still in her arm. The teachers and school did grant her an extension on taking her test given her situation. I will add that as parents, her mother and I could not have been prouder.

Over the years she continued to have trouble with her MS which is not uncommon given there is no cure for the disease and only few treatments. And as it became clearer that working as a vet tech. was not going to produce enough income to cover her medical bills, student loans and support her. She started to try other option. But the continuing issues with MS made everything more difficult.

She eventually got married and continued to make a life for herself. Then In 2018 she and her husband decided they wanted to have a child. This would be a difficult decision because it meant she would have to change or adjust her treatment. The treatments she had been through and the medication she is currently taking could cause problems with the pregnancy and the health of the child. As the treatment was adjusted it soon became apparent that she was not handling it well. And in the late summer and early fall of 2018 she began to have problems. By Oct. of 2018 she was having one of the worst flair ups she had ever had. At this point it was clear that having a child will never be in her future. Although she always knew that this was a possibility, it was still difficult to hear. After some testing the doctors found that the disease was now affecting her spinal cord. When she walked she was literally dragging her right leg and had trouble with her balance. She had to stop working when she nearly fell while on the job. Fortunately, a co-worker caught her before she hurt herself.

Unable to drive or walk without difficulty,  meant she was unable to work. This of course meant that the MS was getting the best of her financially. Her medical bills were piling up now and the student loans were in default and she was not contributing to the daily expenses.

It would take 30,000.00 to pay off her student loans and current medical bills. Any contributions would be greatly appreciated.
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Organizer

Kathy Cobb Pahl 
Organizer
Minneapolis, MN
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