SerenasMedicalJourney

Latest Update:
The inpatient aspect of the NIH trip was encouraging. Serena saw multiple specialists, who touched upon every aspect of her health. The doctors are working on daily chronic issues, as well as her Primary Immune disorder, and are looking into other disorders she may also have. Among the many tests performed, she was finally able to get the Whole Genome Sequencing test done. The results will not be available for several months. They also started her on several medications. The trip up and back was quite costly, not to mention all of the unplanned repairs that had to be done on the RV. Serena has to travel in the RV because it is the only way to keep her self-contained. The doctors reiterated how complicated Serena’s condition is and that this will not be a quick or easy to fix issue. Multiple trips will be involved, not including any of her other doctor trips. NIH has requested Serena return in a few months, which will be contingent upon her health at that time, and funding for the trip. On top of that there are still repairs that have to be made to the RV before it can be traveled in again.  

Previous Update:
Serena is a nineteen year old who's fighting for her life instead of enrolling in college. For the past twelve years, she has been living with a primary immunodeficiency disorder that has worsened over the last several years. Her lab results are so off the charts that she does not have a name for her particular disorder and there is no known cure. She has endured countless medical tests, treatments, surgeries and hospitalizations. This condition leaves her body unable to fight off viruses/infections. Therefore, she is on meds, administered continually into her port by IV pump, which she wears in a backpack, for six to eight months each year plus her current on-going treatment which requires going to the hospital for two days every three weeks for infusions. Afterwards, she is violently ill for five or more days. 

Her immunologist, believes there is a  research team out there that can offer hope for a longer and more normal life for her without constant infections and superbugs, but we have to find them and go there with his help.  Her mother, Lisa, works steadily and tirelessly at random jobs just trying to keep her household afloat (Serena’s father having died eight years ago). Caring for a seriously ill child prohibits Lisa from having a more permanent position. The research testing will happen at a hospital far from their home in Pensacola, Florida and they would have to remain  in that city for a week at a time, incurring additional expenses there in addition to their normal monthly living expenses at home. The percentage of the medical costs Serena's family would be responsible for is overwhelming.

Original Story:
Please visit Serena’s Face Book blog titled 'Serena's Journey'.  Also, take a few minutes to view the video that was created by Dr. Sunnenburg, her Oncologist, that has been posted on Serena's Journey, facebook.com/serenasjourney.
Recently, she wrote that she knows her condition is worsening and treatment options for viruses/infections are becoming more limited. There is an urgency in  in getting to Seattle and  getting long awaited answers as well as the possibility for cure  before she contracts something that her weakened immune system would not be able to overcome. Her doctor has likened it to being chased by a dragon. Without the  testing the dragon is going to catch her and kill her. It's just a matter of time. 

Please help the friends of, Serena Schewerdfeger, give her the opportunity to experience life rather than just survive. Your financial donations/gifts could provide the miracle she desperately desires and needs. More than anything Serena and Lisa ask for your prayers. 

We ask that all persons reading Serena’s story (whether you donate or not) to share her story with all your friends with the request that they also share and so on. We need to get her story to as many people as possible.

Serena is a seventeen year old who's fighting for her life instead of enrolling in college. For the past ten years, she has been living with a primary immunodeficiency disorder that has worsened over the last several years. Her lab results are so off the charts that she does not have a name for her particular disorder and there is no known cure. She has endured countless medical tests, treatments, surgeries and hospitalizations. This condition leaves her body unable to fight off viruses/infections. Therefore, she is on meds, administered continually into her port by IV pump, which she wears in a backpack, for six to eight months each year plus her current on-going treatment which requires going to the hospital for two days every three weeks for infusions. Afterwards, she is violently ill for five or more days.

Her oncologist, Dr. Sunnenberg, believes a stem cell transplant offers hope for a longer and more normal life for her without constant infections and superbugs. Her mother, Lisa, works steadily and tirelessly at random jobs just trying to keep her household afloat (Serena’s father having died six years ago). Caring for a seriously ill child prohibits Lisa from having a more permanent position. The stem cell transplant would happen at a hospital far from their home in Pensacola, Florida and they would have to remain in that area for no less than 100 days incurring additional expenses there in addition to their normal monthly living expenses at home. The percentage of the medical costs Serena's family would be responsible for is overwhelming.

Please visit Serena’s Face Book blog titled 'Serena's Journey'.  Also, take a few minutes to view the video that was created by Dr. Sunnenburg, her Oncologist, that has been posted on Serena's Journey, facebook.com/serenasjourney.
Recently, she wrote that she knows her condition is worsening and treatment options for viruses/infections are becoming more limited. There is an urgency in having the stem cell transplant before she contracts something that her weakened immune system would be unable to overcome. Her doctor has likened it to being chased by a dragon. Without the transplant, the dragon is going to catch her and kill her. It's just a matter of time.

Please help the friends of, Serena Schewerdfeger, give her the opportunity to experience life rather than just survive. Your financial donations/gifts could provide the miracle she desperately desires and needs. More than anything Serena and Lisa ask for your prayers.

We ask that all persons reading Serena’s story (whether you donate or not) to share her story with all your friends with the request that they also share and so on. We need to get her story to as many people as possible.

UPDATE ON SERENA January 2020:

Serena is now 20 years old and is still fighting her primary immunodeficiency disorder.  The number of her hospitalizations has increased, as well as the amount of time she spends in the hospital.  It is taking longer each time for the drugs to fight off the infections, and her condition is worsening.  The FDA pulled the research testing at Seattle Children's Hospital, so Serena has continued with the on-going treatment every 21 days for two full days which makes her sick for a week afterwards.  When needed she is administered antibiotics in her port via an IV pump which she carries around in a backpack.  This runs 24 hours a day, and requires a daily trip to the hospital to change out the medication and the pump batteries.  Serena has an appointment with a doctor in Houston on January 15, with follow-ups required, and another trip to another doctor at NIH Bethesda, MD, within the next couple of months as well a follow-up trip with her immunologist at Shands in Gainesville.  She and her mom desperately need some financial assistance for these up-coming trips.  Please donate what you can as God lays it on your heart.

Donations

  • Narendran Sithambaram 
    • $20 
    • 9 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 11 mos
Become an early supporter 

Your donation matters

GoFundMe protects your donation

We guarantee you a full refund for up to a year in the rare case that fraud occurs. See our GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.

Organizer and beneficiary

Joy Greenwood 
Organizer
Gonzalez, FL
Serena Schwerdfeger 
Beneficiary