Team Julie Johnson

UPDATE: We are so overwhelmed by your generosity. The flight is booked!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Wow.

All funds raised beyond our flight goal will be used for surgery bills, travel costs, food, and housing accommodations at Shirley Ryan in Chicago. Overwhelmed with gratefulness.

On May 7th, 2019, Julie underwent a complicated brain surgery at Mayo Clinic to remove a large brain tumor (meningioma) that was severely pressing on her brain stem. The tumor was interlocked with the brain stem, with cranial nerves and blood vessels engulfing it.

Despite being optimistic after the surgery, the neurosurgeons became greatly concerned by her lack of movement in the days following. An MRI showed massive swelling on the medulla and pons areas of her brain — which has left her entire body paralyzed except for her facial muscles. The surgeon is esteemed as one of the best in the entire world, and he told us he hasn’t seen a case as complicated and perplexing as this in 25+ years. Permanent damage and potentially reversible damage are indistinguishable in every MRI, CT scan, vocal cord scope, x-ray, and physical assessment that she has received. She is unable to speak, as her vocal cords too are paralyzed, leaving her with a tracheostomy for breathing as well as a feeding tube.

After a month spent recovering at Mayo Clinic, the next step is to be transferred to an acute rehab facility that will work with her on a path forward. Our eyes have been on the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, which has been rated the #1 acute rehab facility in the country for the last 28 years. They welcome incredibly difficult cases like my Mom’s, and have the research and technology to provide the best possible recovery.

After weeks of working with the insurance company, they ultimately approved rehab at the Shirley Ryan facility, but they have denied paying for the necessary flight transportation to get her there — because of the option of closer rehab facilities that would cost far less for transportation (and would also provide far less opportunity for recovery). We believe in this next step at Shirley Ryan, and now we just need to get her on a plane, which will cost $21,161.31.

We have been truly overwhelmed at the outpouring of love and prayers for Julie throughout this journey. We know that even in the midst of this suffering, God is sovereign and near to us. Thank you for walking alongside us and for your support. We are so grateful.


Donations (0)

  • Nina Aaby 
    • $117 
    • 2 mos
  • Lynn Neu 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Karen Roles 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Jessica Hebbe  
    • $200 
    • 2 mos
  • Colin Engebregtsen 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos


Becca Johnson 
Waukesha, WI
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