Nicole Virella's Endo Surgery

My name is Angelique and I've started this campaign for my sister Nicole/Nik, an illustrator, suffering from debilitating chronic fatigue and severe pain due to Endometriosis and PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) who needs surgical intervention by an Endo -specialist. 

Nicole started drawing at a young age. She  has been interested in comics and animation since she was a child. I remember as a kid, I'd constantly watch my big sister draw and be amazed at how talented  she was and still is.  I've looked up to her my whole life and am heartbroken to see her helpless and constantly turned down by our healthcare system. 

Over the years, I have been a witness to her struggle. She has always had strange symptoms growing up but continuously  dismissed by doctors. She's had to deal with multiple general practitioners, endocrinologists, gynecologists, gastroenterologists and trips to the emergency room, only to be given a different diagnosis each time and some prescribed meds. All of which, didn't help and only made her more sick.

In the last year, her symptoms have progressed  and have been unbearable. This problem is affecting her socially and her career. She's attempted to be pre-approved for surgery through her insurance, but has been denied like many other women. The main reason is because, they don't think excision surgery is beneficial and would much rather treat it with hormonal therapy, which is often just a temporary fix, and not a solution.  This disease affects over 176 million women worldwide and is continously overlooked by health care professionals and insurance companies. Women, includng my sister have been told by professionals that"it's all in your head" and believe you just are a hypochrondriac and "hysterical." She's done countless sonograms, which doctors have said everything from "it looks like it's getting better" to "everything looks fine." Meanwhile, her recent pelvic  MRI has revealed she has mutilple cysts and pelvic adhesions.  Nicole has insurance in which she pays a pretty penny a month for, however her insurance doesn't think its necessary for her to have this vital surgery. 

She needs this surgery as soon as possible to relieve her terrible symptoms and regain some normalcy to her life.  I want her to have enough funds to be able to have surgery by the end of May/early June.

Whoever knows Nicole, knows she would never ask for a dime from any one, however because of our oppressive cost of healthcare, we need all the help possible. Please donate and share this message with friends and family to support this incredible human, my big sister.  Let's end the stigma against endometriosis. it is not the "invisible" illness, it's real and affecting the women we love. Women need to be believed when they say their pain is real. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this  message <3

Artwork- Nicole/Nik Virella 'Return of the Living Deadpool'
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Organizer and beneficiary

Angelique Virella 
Astoria, NY
Nicole Virella 
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