Kate Ciardi Medical Expenses

$5,680 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 78 people in 20 months
Gayla Herrington
on behalf of Minda Ciardi
 ABILENE, TX
Kate Ciardi is a 7-year-old who is full of life—she has a contagious smile, loves deeply, and blesses all she comes in contact with. Kate also has complex medical problems.

At the top of her medical list, Kate has problems with her bladder and bowel systems. She suffers from severe chronic constipation and has problems with muscles and nerves in the bowel and bladder areas, which have caused her to be bladder and bowel incontinent. She has seen many doctors and specialists, undergone major surgery for kidney reflux, and has had countless tests and procedures. Her daily life at home revolves around medication, timed voiding schedules, accident management, bowel clean-outs, physical and occupational therapy 3 times a week, and more. Her doctors know that these problems are important…they affect her health, as well as other systems, and of course, her quality of life. But her care has not progressed in the way that all have hoped.

Kate has been selected to be a patient at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Nationwide has a program that specializes in a collaborative treatment for children with problems like Kate. The hospital offers an 8-day outpatient program called Bowel Management Week. Kate and her parents will meet with a team of doctors and nurses from several departments: colorectal, GI motility, urology, and others. The team has already outlined an initial plan of care for Kate including 2-3 days of testing before they begin the week’s protocol. The rest of the week will include daily medication adjustments, X-rays, and visits with the care team.

She will be scheduled for the next possible Bowel Management Week, as soon as her arrangements are finalized.

Kate and her parents will need to fly to Columbus, Ohio. They hope to stay at the Ronald McDonald House if there is availability. Otherwise, they will have to stay in a hotel. The family needs help raising the cost of all travel expenses. Donations may be made on this crowdfunding page, or sent to:

South 11th and Willis Church of Christ
3309 South 11th Street
Abilene, Tx 79605

Please put in the memo line: Kate Ciardi


Please help the Ciardi family get Kate to Columbus, OH. They are so grateful for all the love and support that has already blessed Kate and their family.

Please share this page. This is an amazing and necessary opportunity for Kate!
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Kate’s surgery went great today. Dr had to open things up a bit more than expected, but it went well. She’s back at the Ronald McDonald House and already playing. Tough cookie!
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Update July 27, 2018: Back at Nationwide Children’s in Ohio.

Well....it has certainly been an "interesting" week for many reasons. Today was LONG. Kate had 4 hours worth of things at the hospital. Her x-ray was disappointing. For some reason, she is backed up again. So they are going to alter her Malone "recipe" a bit...she is maxed out on one med, but they will double another. I'm REALLY hoping that doesn't induce nausea and vomiting (which is does for some). Guess we'll find out tonight! Kate will have an outpatient surgery tomorrow at 3:30, under general anesthesia, to revise her Malone stoma some. Afterwards, she'll have that external catheter sutured to her tummy, but we've done that before so I don't think it will be a big deal. I will be by myself with all 3 girls, but I think the hospital has worked out some extra help in hour and a half increments. I'll just be getting some extra steps on my imaginary pedometer. ;) Her urology team is having us do some reporting and documenting of things without her TENS unit (for nerve stimulation) and withOUT her TENS unit. We'll see how that goes and then make decisions for the next step after that time. We are also going to try a different drug again (our old insurance denied it....new insurance approved it!! Only problem is the $80 copay, haha.). But we'll wait until we get back to Oklahoma to tackle that.

We hope to be on the road by Saturday afternoon or Sunday to head to New York, depending on when Kate's released for travel. But for now, the girls are enjoying the many joys of the Ronald McDonald House!
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Thursday, January 11th update:

We've had a pretty good week, but we are ready to go home!

- All urology stuff is almost the same. See changes below.
- Kate's xray showed some backing up again, but it's not terrible. She's not showing any symptoms of it causing problems, so we're not making any adjustments right now.
- Her Malone port is going GREAT. If we can convince Kate to cooperate, we'll try transitioning off the plug some...a little at a time. She's not convinced that's a good idea, haha.
- Insurance has denied the new bladder med. We will be starting a new one (that has similar side effects as the current one), but they said having done 2 in one med family will give us some "ammunition" with the insurance company. I'm not surprised at this since we've already had such major issues with our insurance. We'll start the nerve therapy after a few weeks on the new med so we know what is and what is not helping.
- Kate's kidneys are not growing as they should. They will re-check them in 6 months.
- Our clinical nutrition appointment gave us a lot of information. The dietician was concerned with where she is on the growth chart and the fact that she has been loosing weight. Apparently they would like her age to gain 4-8 pounds a year...Kate's going the opposite direction. Her BMI is under 1% and weight is under 5% on growth charts. She will start some high calorie supplements as well as really getting some high iron/protein/calorie foods when she is eating.

We will return in 6 months for re-checks.
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So we ending up spending about 3 hours at the urologist today. They added another test (not really invasive). The dr wants Kate to start working on nerve stimulation. She said she understood that the head urologist wasn’t sure the implanted stimulator would be a good fit for Kate bc she’s too tiny. She said she would suggest a tibial nerve stimulation program, but it will be difficult to find somewhere local to do that. So the dr said that we’ll start with using a TENS unit which will have electrodes on her back attached to a device. The device will give electrical stimulation to the needed nerves. She will have to do this twice a day for about 20 minutes each time. The nurse came in to train us and said that we set the device any where between setting 4-6. Kate didn’t begin to feel anything until setting 10. Not sure why, but the nurse checked with the dr and said we can start with 10 and go up if we need to. Insurance will not typically cover the device, but it’s a one time cost of about $100, plus ongoing purchase of electrodes. She also wants to add another bladder med, but that insurance often won’t cover it. Uncovered it costs about $100 a month. They already sent it our pharmacy and insurance rejected it and said she needs a prior-authorization. So the dr will work on requesting that and possibly fighting with the insurance company...and it might not come to fruition. Ugh. The great thing about the new med is that it does not have the side effect of constipation...which her other two meds do (the urologist says it’s reasonable to think that’s probably why she’s had bad X-rays lately). If Kate can get approved for the new med, there’s a chance we can drop one of the others (but maybe not...we’ll see how it goes). So I really hope insurance will approve it....but I’m not inclined to think they will! On Thursday morning, Kate will have an x-ray and colorectal clinic visits.
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Read a Previous Update
Karen Kee Gentry
17 months ago

You are a wonderful mother (and family) to that precious little Kate. I ache for all of you. Wishing you endurance and patience and a healthy daughter! Love.

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Karen Kee Gentry
18 months ago

Thank God for loving parents, friends, doctors and nurses. Thinking of you, Minda, and all who have supported my own daughter and Type 1 grandson. What would we do without that marvelous support system! Things will improve. I know it. Love you.

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$5,680 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 78 people in 20 months
Created December 12, 2016
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Karen Kee Gentry
17 months ago

You are a wonderful mother (and family) to that precious little Kate. I ache for all of you. Wishing you endurance and patience and a healthy daughter! Love.

+ Read More
Karen Kee Gentry
18 months ago

Thank God for loving parents, friends, doctors and nurses. Thinking of you, Minda, and all who have supported my own daughter and Type 1 grandson. What would we do without that marvelous support system! Things will improve. I know it. Love you.

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