Sarah's Treatment

Hi, I'm Sarah Hopkins and I have RSD. RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy) is a central nervous system disorder that causes the nerves in the affected area(s) of the body to send pain signals to the brain, even when nothing is actually wrong. Some people with RSD have intermittent pain, and others have constant pain; mine is constant and it varies in severity every day. Some days it’s tolerable but uncomfortable; on others it’s so unbearable that I can’t leave bed. I’ve had to withdraw from public school because of the unpredictability of the pain. My RSD started in my abdomen, and has since spread to my respiratory system, hands, feet, lower legs, arms, back, shoulders and head. In my case, my RSD was triggered by severe pain from a dairy allergy and gluten intolerance, this started years ago and has only grown worse. The pain in my arms, legs, hands and feet feels like severe burning, like pins and needles. The skin on my back often feels like it's raw, and burns—this in addition to constant nausea and migraines. RSD is progressive, which means that not only is it likely to get worse, but that in spreading, it may eventually begin shutting down my abdominal organs.

But my situation is not hopeless. Although RSD is a recently discovered neuropathic disorder, a new treatment has recently been developed at Calmar, a pain relief therapy clinic in Rhode Island. The technology is new, but has undergone many successful clinical trials. This means that although it is a highly effective treatment, insurance will not cover it until it receives full FDA approval. Yet this could be still be a while coming; even two years would mean that I would have to continue on in this constant state of pain for the rest of my high school career. Yet with the love and support of my friends, family, and their friends and family, this life-changing therapy is not out of reach. Please consider helping me take hold of this opportunity!

To learn more about what RSD is, follow these links:

To see Dr. D’Amato’s site and learn about his treatment process, click here:


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Sarah Hopkins 
Fairfield, OH
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