Rachel's battle with Gastroparesis

As many of you know, the last 18 months hav been really rough year for me. In February 2017, I was diagnosed with a disease that has completely turned my life upside down. Although I was experiencing symptoms of Gastroparesis before my diagnosis - it wasn't until a couple weeks after that I started having episodes of near-faint spells, chronic fatigue, vomiting, endless nausea, and the inability to eat - regardless of feeling starved. For those of you who don't know, Gastroparesis is paralysis of the stomach. In other words, whenever I eat, food fails to move from my stomach to my small intestine for hours, if not days, on end. The illness has caused not only ridiculous amounts of pain, but serious financial hardship. It has put me out of my job, in television news, for the better part of the year. I've gone through an endless amount of tests, copious doctor visits, and even an invasive procedure. On top of it all, I've lost about 50 pounds over the course of a year.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for GP. There are only two treatments here in the U.S., one of which is black boxed by the FDA - and carries possible lifelong side effects of body spasms. The first treatment worsened my condition. Since there is lack of medical research and treatment for GP, I made the decision to see a functional medicine doctor. She takes a more holisitic approach to try and put me out of my pain and misery. Insurance doesn't cover the costs of any functional medicine testing or medications - and seeking treatment has put me in a scary amount of debt.

In the time of seeking treatment, I've lost my apartment, my ability to work regularly - causing crazy amounts of stress and my sanity. For months, I started experiencing manic anxiety attacks and severe depression. My inability to control those emotions (which exasperate my GP symptoms) led me to a three-and-a-half-week hospitalization, where I was able to focus on both my emotional and physical health. But once again, I'm left with thousands in medical bills - and since I'm unable to work, I simply can't pay them. I have now resorted to withdrawing loans from my (tiny) 401k just to keep a roof over my head. Even my mother has exhausted her savings account to try and support me.

I've been documenting every step of my GP journey through my blog, which you can check out by clicking here. It's really a testament of how much I've learned, and felt alone, while fighting this disease. Through this battle, and my hospitalization, I've really come to realize a new calling in my life that could allow me the flexibility to work and support myself. I've decided to pursue schooling this January to become a certified life coach. Doing so will give me the ability to help others going through the adversities of life, specifically focusing on physical and mental illness. I truly believe life is not meant to be lived alone. I want to break the stigma around illness by advocating, and coaching, those who simply need a positive friend to help reframe and encourage them during life's trials and tribulations.

Not only is this campaign my last-ditch effort to pay rent for each month that comes by, but to live and afford medical care. Even the smallest amounts will help me pay the bills and afford my medication and treatments. I can't even begin to explain how much your help means to me - and I hope to someday return the favor.

Love you all - and thank you so much for helping me fight this life-changing disease. I refuse to let it get the best of me.

With love always, 

Rachel

Donations ()

  • James Eckert 
    • $100 
    • 27 mos
  • Je Jenna Johnson 
    • $50 
    • 27 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 27 mos
  • Andrea Liles 
    • $100 
    • 28 mos
  • Josie Moderow 
    • $10 
    • 28 mos
See all

Organizer

Rachel Kellogg 
Organizer
Seattle, WA
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more