Serenity back for Sarah

Sarah is a 20 year old college student who works full time. I am lucky enough to not only get to call Sarah my sister, but my best friend too. She has the best sense of humor and always has people around her laughing. Sarah is not only beautiful on the outside but inside as well. She is loving, kind and one of the hardest workers I know. One quality I’ve always admired about her is that she’s not afraid to speak her mind, and she really is a very intelligent young lady. My sister has grown so much in the past few years, and I am so proud of who she has become. Her resilience and determination in life is amazing and I know she will conquer all the curveballs life seems to be throwing at her lately. “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”

In January of 2017 my sister Sarah, only 19 at the time, was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis or UC* (see end to read more about UC).

Over the past year Sarah has had numerous visits to the Emergency Room, often two times in one week! At one point, she had lost 12 pounds in the course of a week. With all the ER visits and different medications she has been prescribed (in hopes of going into remission), she has accumulated over $5,000 in medical bills and medication costs AFTER insurance.

Sarah recently found out her insurance coverage was ending unexpectedly.  This could not have happened at a worse time, as on that same day, her physician told her she has Clostridium difficile (C. difficile**) for the second time. This is due to all the medications she has been taking in hopes of getting her UC under control. (See end to read more about Clostridium difficile)

Sarah is experiencing a toxin produced by C. difficile causing her to have diarrhea, abdominal pain, severe inflammation of the colon, fever, an elevated white blood cell count, vomiting, and dehydration, on top of all of her UC symptoms. Although we are hopeful it will not happen, there is a chance that she could reach the point some affected patients do, when the inner lining of the colon becomes severely inflamed with the potential to perforate.

My mom has called numerous sources to try and get help with Sarah's daily treatment medications, to not much avail. Although Sarah has applied for MaineCare, the process is a very slow one and we are not sure she will qualify. Sarah had no choice but to go to the ER on Saturday due to her C.difficile symptoms escalating out of hand. Knowing she no longer had insurance, this was a huge stress for her and she was hesitant to go at all. Meanwhile, her bills are continuing to grow out of control. Sarah is currently unable to work for two plus weeks, due to her diagnosis of C. difficile. The medication and care she needs to get better is and will continue to be a huge hardship for Sarah. To top things off, Sarah’s apartment building is being sold and she has to be out by mid November.

It is so heart breaking to watch my little sister suffer and I just cannot understand why all of this is happening to her.  My mom and I help out as much as we can, but the cost of everything she needs to get better is extremely expensive. If there is any amount you can donate to help Sarah with her medical expenses, even just a dollar, I would greatly appreciate it. I certainly know Sarah will too! My hope and wish for my sister is for her to manage her illness and find serenity in this life again. Thank you!

* Ulcerative Colitis- “An inflammatory bowel disease, that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers (sores) in your digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis affects the innermost lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Ulcerative colitis symptoms include abdominal cramps & pain, diarrhea (usually bloody), rectal bleeding, rectal pain, fever, decreased appetite, weight loss and low energy. UC can be debilitating and can sometimes lead to life-threatening complications. While there is no known cure, treatment can greatly reduce signs and symptoms of the disease and even bring about long-term remission.”


**Clostridium difficile or C. difficile is “A bacteria that is one of the most common causes of infection in the colon for patients taking antibiotics. Antibiotics can disrupt the normal bacteria of the bowel, allowing C. difficile to become established in the colon.”


(All definitions and information in this was obtained from https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=2760 and https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ulcerative-colitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353326)
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Organizer and beneficiary

Emily Ivers 
Organizer
Auburn, ME
Sarah Johnson 
Beneficiary
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