Jan Nitti's Stem Cell Transplant

$44,780 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 176 people in 40 months
My name is Jan Gnall and in 2002 I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called diffuse systemic sclerosis also known as scleroderma, a chronic and debilitating disease that causes the skin and organs to harden with no cure. In olden times it used to be known as the disease that turned the body to stone.  It all started with my hands being very cold and painful and changing colors.  Soon my hands, forearms and wrists started to harden like a rock and my fingers started to curl.  Ulcers on my fingers  developed due to lack of circulation and breaks in the skin. These ulcers lasted months and caused not only pain but loss of function to my fingers. My elbows developed ulcers and my arms began to shorter from the skin being so hard and tight.  My legs, feet, ankles, tendons and bones were affected which really minimized my ability to move properly and function.  However, I refused to be a victim and tried to do everything I could to manage this chronic disease and the changes to my body and life. Supported by my family and friends, I learned to live within my limitations and tried to have a normal life. I had surgeries to try to straighten my fingers with screws and plastic surgery to create a new elbow with skin grafting and muscle removal .  However, internal organ involvement started with my esophagus, my intestinal tract and most recently my lungs.  Lung involvement leads to impaired breathing and heart issues and in most cases death.
After exhausting basically all medications to relieve the symptoms and/or to try to suppress the progression of the disease, I started to research new and experimental treatments that could give me my life back. Stem cell transplant was brought to my attention and although the mortality rate is high, it  showed amazing results! Skin softening, diminished lung fibrosis and and basically putting the disease to bed was  what I was hearing. So here I am 14 years later and determined to fight back once again and be one of the pioneers in stem cell transplant therapy. However, the cost for stem cell transplant therapy is expensive and my insurance will not cover the entire costs involved, which is why I am trying to raise money not only for medical expenses but for short term care.
My first appointment is scheduled for May 22nd which my hope is to have the transplant by the end of the summer. My life depends on it and if it's successful I will be able to go back to work in the medical field where I can help and advocate for people with chronic illnesses.  
Any support you can give will not only help reach my goal for the transplant but will also help me  give back to others that may need help too.
Thank you, Jan
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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
I wanted to give you an update as to my progress 3 1/2 months post transplant. I went to my rheumatologist last week and he told me that he doesn't hear the cracking in my lungs anymore. Woohoo! My skin continues to soften and my blood levels are almost normal. I do have some painful ulcers on a few fingers but overall I am doing great. I wish you a healthy and a "Happy New Year" and want to express my gratitude once again to all of you for helping me. I am excited and feel so blessed this Christmas season because of all of you.
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Hi everyone:
I wanted to give an update on how I am doing since it has been 2 months post transplant. I want to first thank you for reaching out after transplant and checking up on me.
I have just a few complications post transplant but overall I am doing very good. My blood count is almost back to normal and my inflammation has decreased. My friends tell me they can see a change in my skin getting softer. And my podiatrist told me yesterday that my feet look really good.
I am doing a lot of physical and occupational therapy in the hopes that it will help my skin loosen up.
My hair is growing back and I kinda like this short haired gig; so easy....
I am still on a lot of medications, but after 6 months I can get off some of the real strong ones.
I will be going back to Chicago in Feb. to check my lungs and heart and I expect to see many positive changes before then.
Thanks again for continuing to support me and for the many prayers.

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Tomorrow I go home to sunny Florida to begin my recovery. I so look forward to my body starting to rebuild itself and although my immune system will need about 1 year to recover, I know that it will be worth it. I begin physical and hand therapy immediately and the doctor will be checking my heart and lungs in 6 months to look for any changes.
The support and encouragement that everyone has given me has helped in more ways that I could have ever imagined.
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Doing fine Day +3. Today we start shots to kick my new immune system into place. My white count finally bottomed out and so far I do not need a transfusion. Basic side affects but I am doing good!
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Read a Previous Update
Dianna Lopez
40 months ago
1
1

Sending you positive thoughts and prayers..:-)

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Nancy Nemec Coulson
40 months ago
1
1

HI Jan! I watched your videos and donated to your cause. Please know that you will continue to be in my prayers . You are (and always have been) a strong warrior! Now go kick some scleroderma butt!!! Hugs!

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Patricia Porta
33 months ago

Great news, Jan! Prayers are still being offered for you:)

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Bambi Smith Steiner
33 months ago

Jan, so glad to hear this latest update! Continued prayers.

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Jenine Serritella
35 months ago

I am so glad to hear that this has proved positive for you. I wish you all the best in your recovery. My prayers are with you always!! Huggs!! Jenine

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Emy Morris
35 months ago

Happy to hear the news about your stem cells!

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Richard Santomauro
37 months ago

Jan, fight on! You will overcome. Channeling positive thoughts your way!

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Susan Ireland
37 months ago

So happy for you. Prayers, positive thoughts, fingers crossed...

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Sue Manalio
37 months ago

Jan, I sent my Angels to stay by your side and ensure the success of what you are going through. Please know that Dennis and I hold you in our prayers every day....love you xoxoxoxox -Sue&Dennis

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Jodi Castaldo Grillo
39 months ago

You got this Nit, sending hugs and prayers ❤️

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Mary Burnett Newman
39 months ago

Good Luck Jan - always thinking of you !

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$44,780 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 176 people in 40 months
Created April 12, 2016
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RP
$100
Renee Parker
6 months ago

Jan, just saw your GoFundMe. Without saying, this is coming with wishes for abundant blessings and prayers for total healing!

$100
John Levine
28 months ago

I hope your feeling better and are cured soon

$100
John Levine
32 months ago
WD
$50
William Dorr
33 months ago
$50
Glenn Ryan
35 months ago
NS
$100
Nina Shah
35 months ago
$50
Emy Morris
35 months ago
SS
$100
Swapna Swadhin
36 months ago

Wishing you a speedy recovery, sending prayers and love to you Jan

PM
$350
PAT (Chopper) Fugawi MC
36 months ago
$50
Anonymous
36 months ago
Dianna Lopez
40 months ago
1
1

Sending you positive thoughts and prayers..:-)

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Nancy Nemec Coulson
40 months ago
1
1

HI Jan! I watched your videos and donated to your cause. Please know that you will continue to be in my prayers . You are (and always have been) a strong warrior! Now go kick some scleroderma butt!!! Hugs!

+ Read More
Patricia Porta
33 months ago

Great news, Jan! Prayers are still being offered for you:)

+ Read More
Bambi Smith Steiner
33 months ago

Jan, so glad to hear this latest update! Continued prayers.

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Jenine Serritella
35 months ago

I am so glad to hear that this has proved positive for you. I wish you all the best in your recovery. My prayers are with you always!! Huggs!! Jenine

+ Read More
Emy Morris
35 months ago

Happy to hear the news about your stem cells!

+ Read More
Richard Santomauro
37 months ago

Jan, fight on! You will overcome. Channeling positive thoughts your way!

+ Read More
Susan Ireland
37 months ago

So happy for you. Prayers, positive thoughts, fingers crossed...

+ Read More
Sue Manalio
37 months ago

Jan, I sent my Angels to stay by your side and ensure the success of what you are going through. Please know that Dennis and I hold you in our prayers every day....love you xoxoxoxox -Sue&Dennis

+ Read More
Jodi Castaldo Grillo
39 months ago

You got this Nit, sending hugs and prayers ❤️

+ Read More
Mary Burnett Newman
39 months ago

Good Luck Jan - always thinking of you !

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