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Saving Nicole

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Hi, my name is Ryan, I am 34 years old and am married to the most patient, loving, and wonderful woman for 10 years now.  I am a proud father of four strong, intelligent boys and two sweet-hearted, beautiful girls.  I haven't always followed a straight, smooth path in life but have tried to do the best I can.  I don't like to put myself out there so this is one of the most embarrasing things that I feel that I am forced to do.  I have had to face some serious issues in my life and now I feel as if I am up against something that is going to be life-changing.  It all started six years ago when my wife was diagnosed with a meningioma brain tumor.  It was resected in November 2008 and what I thought was all over turned into an everyday nightmare.  Nicole has had countless xrays, CT scans, and MRI's.  With every new picture is a new problem.  She has been to doctor after doctor, multiple ER visits, and no one seems to be able to put it together. Her life has been severly compromised.  After months of watching her deteriorate, I had enough and drove her down to Mayo in Rochester.  Without a referall they couldnt see her but in an affilated ER.  With this being the 3rd ER in two weeks, I wasnt hopeful.  They were amazing.  They found a granuloma (tumor), biapical pulmonary scarring, and ground glass infiltrates in both upper lobes and her lower right lobe in her lungs.  This was on top of her already existing bone lesions on both the right and left femur, her thyroid disorder, and her previous brain tumor.  She has also tested positive for rhuematoid arthritis and has a disc protrusion in her spine. She has multiple extra bone growths among other fibrous tissue growths.  The last 4 months has been the worst.  She is rapidly losing weight (which anyone who knows her, knows there wasnt much to lose in the first place).  Each new week brings new and worsening symptoms and I am watching her slowly die right before my eyes.  I lost my job because of all the days needed off for my wife.  And was forced to find a new place to live at the same time.  She has been denied access to the doctors and tests she needs for the last six months.  When we finally could see a specialist, they had read her file and had made up their mind before she walked in their door because of what either the last doctor said or did.  Some doctors belittled her pain and refused tests.  My wife has spent hundreds of hours researching her symptoms, trying to make sense of what is happening to her body.  I know our friends and family are worried about her but not as worried as I am.  She needs to go back to mayo, I am convinced that is the place that can help her unfortunately her insurance denied that request.  New regulations have been implemented as of Sept 1st and now referrals arent good enough, they need extra paperwork and documentation stating that south dakota cant help her.  By the time we can get that, I am scared too much damage will have been done.  Her Primary Doctor (who has been our family doctor since we moved here) decided to quit her after finding out what mayo had found.  A nurse called my wife 1 hour before her appt to cancel.  She told my wife that she would need to find another doctor because her issues were too complex for him and that it was medically in the best interest of her.  My wife was sobbing as she feels like no one will help.  Since that day my wife has called me sobbing nearly everyday, overwhelmed, saddened, fealing defeated because of another new problem we have to face.  I need to provide for my family and yet still take care of my wife and kids at the same time.  The Doctors and healthcare system has failed my wife.  South Dakota has failed my family.  I need something to change fast and if that means uprooting my family than I will do it.  She puts her strong face on for everyone else, but when the sun is down and the kids are in bed, the pain, the fear, and the true emotion comes out.  Dont give up babe, I will put my pride asside and ask the world for help!


  • Anonymous
    • $150 
    • 10 yrs


Ryan Cook
Madison, SD

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