After an unexpected and rapid weight loss, our friend Crystal Marie Neubauer has been diagnosed with Systemic Mastocytosis . Systemic Mastocytosis is a rare disorder where mast cells are abnormally increased in multiple organs including the bone marrow. Mast cells are immune cells that produce a variety of mediators, such as histamine, that are important in the body's allergic responses. When mast cells are present in greatly increased numbers, the amount of released mediators can be very high and cause multiple symptoms. This diagnosis connects many dots from Crystal's health history, especially connected to the Chronic Lyme Disease that Crystal has been battling for decades. The disease is progressive and debilitating in nature and Crystal is experiencing a rapid decline in her daily abilities to function and participate in the normal activities of her life. There is no cure and treatments are limited to symptom management, and often the disease will cause the body to reject the very medications that could help stabilize her system. As her friends, family, loyal patrons of her art, students of her art workshops, and people who love and care about her, we can help to support Crystal as she moves through the challenges she is facing and begins to transition her career path to be able to continue the teaching that she loves to do, through online courses rather than the physically exhaustive work and travel required to teach her classes live. Medical costs and related expenses are mounting and will continue to rise. So many of us would love to do something tangible, and this Go Fund Me campaign is one way we can rally around Crystal to provide the support she needs, helping to shoulder her burden from locations across the country and around the world. You can also continue to support Crystal by purchasing her artwork either from her online gallery or from any of the galleries representing her work. You can sign up and attend an in-person workshop with her either in her Racine studio or at the limited off-site locations she's scheduled to teach in 2019. Crystal also has an online Patreons & Peers group where you can choose from different levels of patronage. Please note that all funds raised from this fundraiser will be deposited directly into Crystal's bank account (less GoFundMe's 2.9% fee + .30 fee per credit/debit transactions). Zero fees are paid to the organizer. We will continue to update you with news as Crystal begins seeing a specialist, who will determine the stage and anticipated trajectory of the disease. The outpouring of love and support Crystal has received online has been powerful and encouraging. She will also continue to post and share her journey through her own writing and reflections on Facebook and her blog. Stay connected with Crystal by following her on Facebook here or leave your comments for her to read on this page. Thank you for sharing your love, prayers, thoughts and financial support as Crystal faces these challenges.
Organizer and beneficiary