Owen is 6. Owen has Autism. Owen also has Eosiniphilic esophagitis -a disease that's been described as being allergic to eating. Despite that catchy song from the Lego Movie, clearly everything is not always awesome. Owen's food allergies include: wheat, soy, dairy, egg, nuts, avocado, tomato, and gluten. Try making a birthday cake with all that.
Since birth, Owen has been diagnosed with 'failure to thrive.' At age 2, threatened with the very real possibility of Owen needing a feeding tube, Rachel and Owen spent 5 weeks at St. Joseph's Center for Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing. As you can imagine, this was no vacation nor was it covered by insurance (beyond a certain number of visits). It doesn't come close to being affordable in any way. Have we mentioned Owen is Rachel's youngest son? She and her husband, Todd have two other children, Emma Grace is 10 & Isaac is almost 9. Rachel works nights as a CNA while going to school during the day to become a nurse. Todd is a Youth Pastor at Lifepointe Church . Rachel & Todd are good people with way too much on their plate. They need a break.
Despite their stay at St. Joseph's, Owen's health continued to decline resulting in a feeding tube being placed at age 4. Over the past two years Owen has continued to struggle. And by struggle, we mean multiple infections, continued failure to gain weight, and frequent visits to the hospital...all that combined with the fact that it costs between $600-$800 a month to feed Owen and you can see the struggle is REAL. A little too real.
Last week they learned Rachel has to take Owen back to St. Joseph's for 5 weeks this May. Rachel & Todd were forced to put their house on the market to afford Owen's medical care. Afford really isn't the right word, a lifetime of mounting medical expenses is more accurate.
So, who are we? We're Rachel's Bookclub. Don't let the name fool you, we haven't read a book together in years. We're a group of friends who have met regularly over the past 9 years - we've weathered each other's tragedies, celebrated each other's triumphs and supported each other through thick and thin. We laugh together. We cry together. Lately, there is too much crying. We all feel very fortunate to have each other.
We want to help our friend Rachel and her sweet family. Please help us help our friend, Rachel and her son, Owen. Any amount helps. Bookclub thanks you.
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- Danielle Perry
- Maureen King
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