Help Fix Meg's Brain

My name is Meg, I am 24 years old, and a Mother to a wonderful four year old little boy. I also have Chiari Malformation. After suffering with debilitating migraines since the age of eight, my health began to deteriorate in July of 2014.  On July 30th, as I was getting ready for work, I lost the vision in my right eye and the use of my right arm. I went to the Emergency Room. Thinking I may have had a stroke, the doctor ordered an MRI. The results indicated that I have a 20 millimeter Chiari Malformation. Chiari Malformation Type 1 is a disorder that causes your cerebellum ( the bottom part of your brain) to herniate into your spinal column. In order to qualify as a Chiari Malformation, the herniation has to be at least 5mm. Mine is 20. After the Emergency Room visit I saw a Neurologist and eventually a Neurosurgeon named Dr. Gilmer. She is one of the best Chiari specialists in the country and was the answer to my prayers. She told me that I have no fluid around my brainstem and that it is being severely compressed. We scheduled surgery for January 14th, 2015. The surgery will consist of cutting a hole in the back of my skull to allow room for my brain and cutting off my cerebellar tonsils (the part of my brain that is herniating into my spinal column).  Since my diagnosis my health has started to get worse. I have gone from working 7 days and 50 hours a week to 3 days and 24 hours a week for medical reasons. I suffer from visual disturbances, impaired fine motor skills, weakness in my hand and arm, central sleep apnea, numbness and pain in my limbs and back, dizzy spells, confusion, and memory loss. At my last appointment I was told that I have nerve damage that may or may not be reversed by surgery.  I am having my 4th and 5th MRIs on Wednesday to check for a tethered spinal cord, which can be an associated condition. I am not one that likes to ask for help and take pride in being able to do things on my own, but it is getting to the point where the bills are piling up and I am overwhelmed. The surgery is also going to be very expensive, and because of my inability to work full-time, we are struggling. I am hoping and praying that this surgery will give me a new lease on life and stop the progression of my symptoms. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to anyone that donates, shares, or sends me a prayer.


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Meg Ryan 
Portage, MI
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