Mayo Clinic or Bust...

For those that know our family, we rarely, if ever reach out for assistance from others.  Today, I am doing so for a member of our family that needs more help than we can provide to her.  Today, I am asking for any and all type of help for Penny, my niece, daughter of my brother Wes and his wife Dawn.  Penny is 35 years old and lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her family of fur babies (two dogs,  Chase and Chloe, and three cats, Kuma, Lilly and Cleo).  She has a masters' degree in social work and loves helping people.  Penny has been going through a pretty rough period of medical illness which has become a still undiagnosed medical disorder that has drained her emotionally, physically and financially.  Here is her story:

"I have been seeing a hematologist for many years for low WBC count (white blood cells). This was thought to be my norm. However, about five months ago my counts started to drop severely; specifically my neutrophils (which are the white blood cells that fight bacteria). So, I have been on antibiotics, antifungals, and antivirals every day for the past three months to protect me. I also get a growth factor injection (which makes my bones hurt and makes me feel like complete crap for three days) when my counts go below 500. My bone marrow biopsy did not come back normal so, it has been a “rule out” game. So, even though it is NOT super definitive, I have found out that everything that could be causing my low white blood cell count has been ruled out as the culprit, leaving me with a condition that will turn into myloid dysplasia, which is considered a type of cancer and, in turn, can possibly turn into acute leukemia at some point. To make matters more confusing, because this condition normally shows only in people age 60-70 my hematologist informed me that he wants to send me to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for further testing, second opinions and hopefully, a treatment plan. Because the doctors do not know “why” this is happening to me, it is difficult to set up a treatment plan at this time. Unfortunately, after treating and going through all the testing and motions to diagnose over the last 5-6 months, this is all I have to show for it.  No true diagnosis, no current treatment that is helping and no treatment plan for the future.

 I have just been informed that I will need to travel to Rochester, Minnesota to the Mayo Clinic for an appointment on October 1.  This is a new starting point for me.  I do not know how long I will need to be there, what the testing will entail, etc.  Each day will be a new experience. "

Although Penny has health insurance, mounting medical bills, time off from work, etc. has taken a toll on her finances.  She will now be required to travel after being accepted to be seen at Mayo, so she has no idea what the future holds for her financially or medically.

Although this Go Fund Me is about collecting funds to help her along with way, I am also asking for anyone that may have airline points/hotel points/gift cards for food, etc. to donate, please private message me.  We are looking for any and all available help in many forms to get her through this process.

She and I will be updating throughout the process so that each of you will be aware of where Penny ends up at the end of all this.

Thank you for taking the time to read Penny's story and please, at minimum, share the heck out of the page.  I love you all, Cheryl

Organizer and beneficiary

Cheryl Stokes Walker
Damascus, MD
Wesley Stokes

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