Mike Licona: Medical expenses for daughter

Gary and I have known Mike & Debbie Licona for more than 35 years. I remember when we got the call from Debbie after the first overdose. Gary was out of town teaching and I was back in Lynchburg. Because of our long relationship with Mike & Debbie, we knew their daughter Allie had struggled for years with deep depression. The teasing and bullying she endured as a child and teenager was beyond what most kids can even imagine. At one point during middle school, the school resource officer had to follow her around the school for her safety. But none of us anticipated that she would actually try to take her own life. That first overdose occurred in July 2009, two months after her high school graduation. She overdosed on such a massive amount of prescription and non-prescription medications that it left her with short term memory and processing deficits.

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Mike and Debbie have taken Allie to multiple therapists and psychiatrists over the years who have come up with various and conflicting diagnoses. A year after her first overdose, Allie married Nick Peters, an up and coming Christian apologist. Gary was actually part of bringing the two of them together! Nick is autistic and Allie had been diagnosed with high-functioning autism (Aspergers). So, they were two peas in a pod. However, Allie continued to struggle with ongoing depression, which only seemed to deepen as the months and years passed. Overtime, self-harm became her way of coping with her pain.

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Over the past 10 years, we have lost count of the number of Allie’s suicide attempts. She has been hospitalized numerous times (three in 2020 alone) for self-harm, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. The diagnosis she has had for the past several years that fits her symptoms and history is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). BPD is the same condition suffered by Rick Warren’s son (Matthew) and that eventually led to him committing suicide a few years ago. In fact, many people with BPD will commit suicide. BPD is so difficult to treat that many therapists will not even treat those suffering from it.

Since Allie has been suicidal most of the time, it has been difficult for her husband Nick to work. So, Mike and Debbie have had to provide substantial financial support for the past 10 years. After Allie’s most recent suicide attempt five weeks ago, they were advised that she needs residential treatment in order to get well. This includes residential treatment with stepdown treatment of partial hospitalization, and then a further step-down outpatient treatment. This treatment center specializes in BPD and has an excellent track record of success. Their goal is for the patients to come out independent and ready to live on their own. The therapist believes Allie can have a life with joy and purpose. This is also Mike, Debbie, Nick and Allie’s goal.

Since Allie is disabled, she is only covered by Medicaid, which does not cover any of the expenses for this treatment. The cost of the treatment is $75,000. Mike and Debbie are going to begin the process by using equity in their home. Since they are both in their 50’s (Mike is 59, Debbie is 56) this is not a good time in their lives to be making this kind of financial move. But like those of us who are parents, we do what we have to do to help our children who are suffering, physically or mentally. I would love to see us as a community come together and share this burden with the Liconas to help pay for this much needed treatment for their daughter.

I know things are tough right now with COVID-19 and some of you may even be out of work. In that case, please share this with those you know who may be in a place in which they can help. There is a waiting list for admission, but it appears Allie will be able to be admitted in about two weeks if we can manage to come up with the needed funds.

Thank you.

If you prefer not to give through Go Fund Me, you may send a check payable to Mike Licona to:

Mike Licona
PO Box #3077
Cumming, GA 30028

Donations

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  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 5 hrs
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    • $10 
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    • $200 
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  • Ilonka Knowlton 
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Organizer and beneficiary

Eileen Habermas 
Organizer
Lynchburg, VA
Debra Licona 
Beneficiary

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