Sharon's A.L.S. medical expenses

$9,100 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 117 people in 51 months
“I am just glad it happened to me and not to Andrew or Monica.”

Those are my daughter’s words about her brother and sister.

It is a battle against time.

My daughter is a young woman, 26 years old, who has been diagnosed with the fatal disease of ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.  Sharon is a very strong young woman, intelligent and generous, that even with this disease, still smiles so her family would not suffer; she continues with her exercises, although with many limitations, with a very strong desire to live.

Sharon is receiving medical care at Kaiser Permanente, where she was diagnosed by two different neurologists and in two different hospitals with several tests to rule out other diseases like Multiple Sclerosis and meningitis among others since there is no specific test to diagnose this disease.  They cannot do anything else for my daughter but only supply her with Riluzole, a medicine to slow down the progress, and to send her back to the neurologist who diagnosed her so she could be transferred to the ALS Kaiser Sunset clinic.  We did not have any knowledge that they offer stem cells transplants until a friend of ours advised us about this procedure.  How ironic! One of the doctors firmly expressed that those cells would die before it would start working.  This is our ordeal, and with a natural desperation we tried to get treatments with stem cells in Tijuana, Mexico; we consulted five different neurologists, two of them wanted to start this treatment as soon as possible based on medical reports and results performed in California, the other three gave us other diagnosis that required surgery. We came back with more questions than answers about the Kaiser diagnostic and the other diagnosis made out in Tijuana.

She was also seen by a neurologist at UCLA who said more tests were needed to be done to make the final diagnosis. These tests were not done at the other hospital.  Another facility that we planned to visit is Cedars Sinai Medical Center, but the entire process is so slow and frustrating.

Thanks to people that started helping us with research we were referred to one of the best specialist in Mexico City where they don’t have so many restrictions. We will be departing on 02/08 mainly because this group of doctors is eager to challenge the diagnosis due to the fact that Sharon is too young, and it’s so unusual that this disease would attack somebody at this early age, the majority of ALS patients are older than 40 years of age, 60% are males and 93% are Caucasian.  There is a big possibility that the  stem cells transplant procedure will be performed there; we don’t know how long we will stay in Mexico and how often we will have to take our daughter for further treatments, but we are willing to give everything in our power to save my daughter’s life.

To our family, friends, acquaintances and all caring souls in the world: we ask for your prayers for Sharon’s recovery... miracles do exist! So, we maintain our strong faith and hope.  If you would like to contribute to our efforts, please be kind to donate through GOFUNDME. COM

God bless you and your families.

Thank you for all your prayers and blessings.

Hernan Torrico, and family.
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We still have strong faith that my daughter will get better and heal. Thank you to our family and friends that have been praying to God every single day for her health. We are still fighting this terrible disease. We will not stop. We know miracles can happen.
Nine months have passed since my daughter was officially diagnosed with ALS, and just much time we spent looking desperately for different treatments. Nine months of trying limited options. Nine months praying, asking, and begging to God for her healing.
Traveling to Tijuana and Mexico City were the first steps to challenging the diagnosis. From going often to Tijuana looking for more answers, to looking for the best neurologist in Mexico City, hoping the diagnosis was wrong. We traveled also to Peru for a stem cell transplant. Now we are looking for a different approach in Brazil through prayers to God, long meditations, visits to a sacred waterfall, crystal bed treatments, and praying the rosary every night with a nice group of people in Brazil and California.
We had to be absent for three weeks while in Mexico, one month when we stayed in Lima, Peru, and my husband is still in Brazil for a near two months. My daughter stayed in Brazil for about five weeks, but had to return due to an infection. My husband will stay in Brazil possibly until we can see even a small health improvement. While in Peru, our hearts were broken because we missed my youngest daughter high school graduation, my son’s birthday was not as happy as it should be, and my birthday was bittersweet missing Sharon, Chris, and my husband.
Our family has been separated three times during this year, but all of us know it is for the greater good, because we are looking to save my daughter’s life.
We are grateful for all our family and friends that are praying every day and never abandon us. May God bless them all.
MIRACLES CAN HAPPEN. OUR FAITH IS STRONGER, AND WE ARE PRAYING EVERY SINGLE DAY.
-Wilma Torrico
Sharon Post-Operation in Peru
La Pelea de Sharon contra ELA
Sharon's Fight for Survival Against ALS
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continued for 5/1/15
Treatment:
You guys know I’m on riluzole, the only FDA approved treatment proven to give me 2-3 months more of life. All of us ALS patients are waiting on the FDA accelerated approval of Genervon gm604.
However, my dad found this one doctor that implants stem cells from the omentum into the back of the neck. It has helped a few patients regain some voluntary control of their extremities like hands and feet. I am waiting for him to be available so that I can undergo that surgery.
It’ll be done in Lima, Peru in the next 2-3 weeks. Time is of the essence with this disease so I hope it’s done sooner. The articles I’ve read about the surgery and doctor show a lot of promise and I hope to dear God that it’ll stop or reverse my ALS.

Marriage:
Finally, I married my high school sweetheart of 10+ years. He’s the love of my life and I’m so happy we’re together. Our wedding was a dream thanks to many many kind people. He’s absolutely wonderful. He takes care of me, makes me smile, makes me laugh. Honestly, he’s my everything.

Moments worth fighting for:
Last week my two flower girls were in the den with me. They saw me sitting in a chair without my walker and asked where my walker was. I told them it was in another room. Then they asked “Are you still sick?” I said “yes..” and then they asked “When are you going to feel better?” and I said “when I get a kiss” and they both jumped towards me and each one gave me a kiss.
Yesterday night, I was super hungry and my bro made me this awesome oatmeal with blackberries. Omg, it was so good. I told him so and he looked at me surprised. I just liked his look of being surprised but pleased with himself. Lol
Last Saturday my sister used my prom dress for her own prom. Of course she had to have 10 lbs of it removed to fit her, lol, but it did. It was awesome that she imagined her prom with my dress and she actually wore it. Cuz seriously, I graduated high school in 2006. =O
I have so many moments worth fighting for…
Like doggy kisses, doggy wiggles, doggy snores, cat chats, cat stares, cat stalks. Lol. I love my angels and demon.

McClavers:
To my surprise my friends made a video to help raise the number of petitions for the FDA accelerated approval of Genervon gm604 on ALS patients on change.org, promote my gofundme site, and spread awareness of the disease. I can’t believe they jumped in an ice cold pool WITH ice for me. I just can’t. They’re crazy and I love them so much for their craziness. Go on youtube and search
Sharon Torrico:Warrior Princess-A Battle with ALS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGfW-_zQAgY
Each one of these people has a piece of my heart.

Conclusion:
I’m just waiting on when I can have that surgery done in the next 2-3 weeks. Please help promote this site so that my family can afford the trip to Peru as well as the medical and living expenses. I’ll probably be there for 2-3 weeks to recover.
Also, come visit my family and me. There’s no time like the present, I know that all too well.
Keep that chain prayer going at 8pm every day. My family and I never miss it.
And just in case you forgot, I love you and thank you for all your support.
I’m not giving up.
I have so much to live for.

~SWT
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Hello everyone, today is May 1st, 2015 and it’s me (Sharon) writing this message.
I wanted to update this more frequently but it’s hard typing how my body is continuously failing me. It’s hard to keep faith when I lose more and more battles each day. I hear everyone telling me to have faith, that God will save me. It’s just difficult to believe when I’m getting worse. I am however thankful for the days I have with my family and friends.

Anyway, I’ll try to divide this is sections so you can read what you’re more interested in.

Warning: Yes, this will be difficult to read if you care.
But don’t misread me, I am not giving up.

Current health:
I now HAVE to use the walker to get to places anywhere, even at home. I use to just hold on to furniture but now that won’t work. Even worse, I think my legs are giving up. And by that I mean that they are reaching their end. Recently, while walking I’ve had one leg give up and collapse. It’s pretty scary because all I could do is hold onto the walker as best as I could and well the walker can fall on top of me if I don’t catch my fall with my other leg. That’s been happening the last few days.
I’ll use them till their last drop.
I have had more choking episodes. I choke on anything, water, food, my own saliva. That’s the scariest. I suffocate in a room full of air gasping and gasping for air to enter my lungs. All while my family desperately watches me and waits to see if I need the Heimlich maneuver.
I am on a breathing machine while I sleep so that all my lung lobes are filled with air. What happens with ALS is that the diaphragm gets weaker and it can’t fully expand so not all the lobes get air. Plus, those lobes can keep too much moisture within them so the machine helps air them out in a sense.
My hands have atrophied a lot. I can no longer type as I use to. I use to be able to type using all my fingers without looking at the keyboard. My left hand is better than my right. I can only use 2 fingers on my right. The rest are just stuck in place. I use splints at night so that my hands don’t curl. When I don’t use them, I’ve noticed my hands are in a tight fist when I wake up.
My drop foot is worse, which makes me more susceptible to falling.
I now require help in the shower. My mom or husband have to turn on the water. And I have to use a shower chair. I also need one of them while dressing. I can’t put my own bra on or off. Good thing I told my mom about the tattoos I had before. lol I would think I’d be more embarrassed being completely naked in front of them, but I’m not really. I’m human and it’s just human anatomy that they’re looking at plus some fat. Haha. I’m more embarrassed that I’m chunky but honestly I’m recommended to be with this disease. In that way the body won’t eat the little muscle I have left and will consume the fat instead.
One thing I hate about being extremely weak in the bathroom is that if I’m naked and fall, I’m completely vulnerable and exposed. That happened last week but it wasn’t as bad. I was getting ready to get in the shower and then my leg gave out and I fell on the closed trash can nearby. My little sister was the only one home. She’s like 100 lbs; she can’t lift me. So I stayed there naked sitting on the trash can for 5 minutes reaching here and there to see how I could get up. “Come on... you can do this... come on…just do it... get up...” is what would run through my head. I finally did, but I hate to think it’ll get worse.

Mental state:
I’ve always been cynical. I’ve always waited for the worst so it wouldn’t disappoint me in the end. My husband knows this of me all too well. I’m trying to change.
I know that when people come over, I have more faith. You guys save me from dwelling and I need you all and love you all so so much.
Sometimes I feel selfish for marrying Chris and having him live with me. I’m suffering through this so why would I bring someone I love to suffer along with me. But I know he loves me and if it were him, I would never abandon him. He needs support as well. My whole family needs your support.
I hate to think that I’m a burden on them, asking for them to get me this and that and clean the messes I make since my weak hands drop everything. I really hate that I can’t do it myself. And I hate to think that it’s just going to get worse. I feel like I’m being encapsulated in a shell. I can’t move much and I can’t talk much. What awaits me is total paralysis with no form of communication then death. How do I even say bye to my loved ones, do I say it now because I can barely speak, should I say it before I lose my voice for good. When will I lose my voice for good? Or my legs... or my hands...
That’s the first time I’ve said that and tears won’t stop rolling down my face.
What I am battling is a monster so forgive me for those days that I’m just not happy.
On a better note... That’s when visitors help. You guys give me faith.


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Update 03/23/2015 by me, Sharon.
I’ve been wanting to update this for a while now but I couldn’t. It’s hard to write all that I’m going through.
It’s hard to try and keep positive with all that is happening to me. My body is giving up no matter how much I push and push.
I’m sorry but this is going to be a little difficult to read for some.
I am human and I have the right to feel this sadness. It doesn’t mean I’m surrendering. I just want to share this because I may not be able to later. But please keep praying for me and sending me positive energy.

From the moment I wake up I realize this is my reality. My hands are starting to curl and I see it in the morning. Getting up is hard. I have to reach out to hold onto the mattress to somehow pull myself up. Even pulling myself up is difficult because my hands are super weak. My right hand has atrophied and weakened so much that I can’t touch my thumb to each one of my fingers anymore. My thumb doesn’t reach the pinky of the same hand. Try it. Pretend to squish a bug in between your thumb and each finger of the same hand. My left hand can do it, not great, but it can do it. My right hand can no longer do it. I’m right-handed so this affects me in everything I do or try to do. Anyway, so getting up is somewhat difficult but I still mentally push and push through. Then my dad gives me a pill and some liquid vitamin that’s supposed to be given on an empty stomach. The pill takes me forever to swallow because I can’t swallow well and I can easily choke.
Next, getting out of bed is difficult. My legs feel sore and tight as if I ran a marathon. The 24/7 continuous muscle twitching (fascilulations) is what makes my legs so tight and tired. I didn’t even use my legs and they’re already tired. As I walk to the kitchen for breakfast, I have to hold on to the walls and furniture to not fall. I should use a walker but I refuse to because I don’t want to be permanently stuck to it. I want to be able to walk down the aisle of my wedding even if I have to hold onto someone. When I get to the kitchen, I have to be careful sitting on the seat so as to not fall. Sometimes I have to be alone because the kids have school and my parents and Chris have work. Falling down isn’t the only problem I face. I have to be very careful eating food since I choke easily. I’ve already choked twice and those were the scariest moments of my life. The first one that happened this month was because I choked on my own saliva. I gasped and gasped for air but none would enter my lungs. My mom and dad just desperately held onto me not knowing how to help but just to hold on to me and be ready to call 911 if needed. I remember thinking to myself “is this how I die…. No… NO. Just breathe Sharon… Just breathe…” The second time I choked I was talking to my brother, out of nowhere I choked on my saliva again. My brother and mom ran to me and my brother kept asking if he should do the Heimlich maneuver. I signaled no because it was just my saliva. I gasped and gasped for air feeling so helpless having air all around me but not being able to breathe.

I want to tell you the rest of my day but later..
I’d rather be happy right now.
I’d rather tell you how grateful I am for every day that I get with my loved ones.
I know I’m having trouble typing this because my right hand is so weak that the thumb could barely press the space button. And I know I’m going to have trouble getting off the couch. I know my awesome brother will offer his arms to help me up and he’ll walk me to the bathroom so I could get ready for bed. I know he and my mom and dad will have their ears extra sensitive to hear if I fall and they’ll run to me if I do. But through all this and more, I’m still happy I’m here.
I’m still happy I can make them laugh with my silliness and dumb jokes.
I’m still happy I can make my jack russel howl, make my Chihuahua give me hugs and kisses, see my 14 year old collie mix act like a puppy, and pet my demon child cat whom I saved and cared for since she was 2 days old.

When days get super tough I just remind myself that I’d rather have this disease than my brother and sister. I’d do it again and again if I was given the option between us 3 and there wouldn’t be a day that I’d regret it. NOT ONE SINGLE DAY.

So, I’ll continue my fight and continue to be grateful for each day I get with family, Chris, friends and you. I thank you for your prayers and positive energy.
~SWT



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Read a Previous Update
Clements
2 months ago

My Wife was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) when she was 72 years old 4 years ago. The Rilutek (riluzole) did very little to help her. The medical team did even less. Her decline was rapid and devastating. Her arms weakened first, then her hands and legs. Last year, a family friend told us about Organic Herbal clinic and their successful ALS TREATMENT, we visited their website www. organicherbalclinic. com and ordered their ALS Formula, i am happy to report the treatment effectively treated and reversed her Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), most of the symptoms stopped, she is able to walk and eat well, sleep well and exercise regularly., she is pretty active now and her attitude is extremely positive.

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Jodie Ridenour
48 months ago

I will be praying for you! I lost my mom two years ago to ALS and it broke my heart. I saw everything she went through and watched her go downhill everyday. Losing her was my worst nightmare. As soon as I get another job I will donate what I can. But until then you will get lots of prayers. I am so deeply sorry your going through this. I hope they find a cure soon. I made a vow after my mom died I would support this cause and do what I could to help those with this disease in honor of my mom. I felt helpless because I couldn't save her. So I'm going to do what I can and try to make a difference. I can only hope that the good Lord will bless all of those who have ALS with a cure.

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$9,100 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 117 people in 51 months
Created February 8, 2015
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$50
Anonymous
32 months ago
$15
Anonymous
42 months ago
JB
$20
Jennifer Buezo
42 months ago

We are praying for you Sharon! Stay strong!

$40
Anonymous
42 months ago
$75
Anonymous
42 months ago
$100
Amparo Ostojic
42 months ago

I wish you the best in Brazil and will continue praying for you and your family.

MD
$25
Mark Ducharm
48 months ago

Prayers to you, good luck in Peru

Clements
2 months ago

My Wife was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) when she was 72 years old 4 years ago. The Rilutek (riluzole) did very little to help her. The medical team did even less. Her decline was rapid and devastating. Her arms weakened first, then her hands and legs. Last year, a family friend told us about Organic Herbal clinic and their successful ALS TREATMENT, we visited their website www. organicherbalclinic. com and ordered their ALS Formula, i am happy to report the treatment effectively treated and reversed her Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), most of the symptoms stopped, she is able to walk and eat well, sleep well and exercise regularly., she is pretty active now and her attitude is extremely positive.

+ Read More
Jodie Ridenour
48 months ago

I will be praying for you! I lost my mom two years ago to ALS and it broke my heart. I saw everything she went through and watched her go downhill everyday. Losing her was my worst nightmare. As soon as I get another job I will donate what I can. But until then you will get lots of prayers. I am so deeply sorry your going through this. I hope they find a cure soon. I made a vow after my mom died I would support this cause and do what I could to help those with this disease in honor of my mom. I felt helpless because I couldn't save her. So I'm going to do what I can and try to make a difference. I can only hope that the good Lord will bless all of those who have ALS with a cure.

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