Welcome to Renee's Go Fund Me, and thank you for taking time to read about Renee's story. Renee has an extremely rare disease called Multicentric Reticulohistiocytosis (MRH), in which there are less than 300 documented cases since its discovery in the 1950’s. Follow this link for detailed information on MRH:http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/283885-overview
Below is information to give you a better understanding of what has been going on in Renee’s life over the past few years.
Renee is a 61 year old wife and mother residing in Granite Falls, Washington. She has tirelessly served her community as a teacher in her children’s school district for the last 20 years, while frequently volunteering at local food banks and being active in the church youth group. She always puts her family and friends ahead of herself. She is a mother to all of her children’s friends and a caring friend to many. Selflessly serving her community for so many years, it is our hope that those whose lives she’s touched may be willing to give back in her time of need.
Two years ago, Renee began to develop strange symptoms beginning with tightness and pain in her shoulders, accompanied by tenderness, swelling, and stiffening of her fingers. The pain in her shoulders steadily increased and they soon became nearly immobile and excruciatingly painful. These symptoms have slowly moved down and have also affected her hips, knees, ankles, and nearly every other major joint.
We have sought out medical advice from doctors near and far; from the University of Washington to the leading professionals at Mayo Clinic. What was at first believed to be severe Rheumatoid Arthritis has now been formally diagnosed as Multicentric Reticulohistiocytosis. Now that the question of “What?” has been answered, we are still perplexed with “How?” Two shoulder surgeries, two hip replacements, and a battery of pain medications have only left us with more questions and very little relief. Renee’s pain continues to worsen as her condition deteriorates. The mobility in her joints is severely limited, causing chronic pain. The simplest tasks such as getting in and out of bed, getting dressed, showering, and using the restroom is now impossible without help 24/7.
The Swetz family is looking to raise approximately $40,000 in order to cover the accrued medical bills, prescriptions, travel expenses related to the Mayo Clinic, continued physical therapy and in home care, as well as specialized equipment required to improve Renee’s quality of life. The insurance company has refused to cover the medicine prescribed by the Mayo Clinic ($6000 per MONTH!) as part of her treatment regiment, citing it as “experimental” since so few cases exist to confirm its effectiveness. This has left us feeling hopeless as we can do nothing but watch the disease continue to ravage through her body.
Even if you are not able to donate, please share this story and GoFundMe link with as many people as you can to raise awareness about her condition.
We also have several prayer requests: 1) For healing, restoration, and that the doctors may have wisdom to treat this baffling disease. 2) Pray that Renee’s pain would be lessened, mobility would increase, and her treatment would be successful. 3) Pray for those in charge of her ongoing daily care, mostly her husband Dave and son Austin; that they would have patience, perseverance, and compassion, as well as stay healthy physically, mentally and emotionally. 4) Pray for understanding regarding how God can still be glorified in this hard situation.
Thank You and God Bless.
The Swetz Family (Renee, Dave, Sarah, Crystal & Austin)
If you would like to watch a video portraying one woman’s struggle with MRH, please follow the links below. Keep in mind that everyone is affected differently by MRH, and the woman in this video received treatment at an earlier stage in the progression of this disease than Renee has.
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA03NBFw-Jg
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb8VYpROrSQ.