Moving Andrea Forward

$6,150 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 53 people in 1 month
Created May 24, 2019
Meet Andrea Kirk!  Andrea is a 54 year old mother of four, and wife, partner and soul-mate to Kevin. She has inspired and touched the hearts of so many with her tremendous faith, courage and positive attitude.  Andrea's journey over the past seven years has been challenging to say the least.  She was diagnosed with MS many years ago and in early 2012 suffered a severe MS attack - or so the doctor's thought.  In reality, her attack was Devic's disease, a rare but very similar disease.  The problem is that the treatment for MS actually makes the Devics much worse.  Andrea went from a vibrant and active mother to a quadriplegic fighting for her life nearly overnight. 

Andrea spent nearly a year moving from hospital to rehab centers and back fighting to regain partial use of her arms and gain some stability in her health challenges.  After many months of struggle and hospital stays, a specialist in Devic's was found at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.  He treated her there for several weeks and then set up a program of treatment for her in consultation with doctor's in Columbus, Ohio.  They arranged to be able to provide some of the needed plasma exchange therapy to her at hospitals located in Cincinnati, Ohio which is 100 miles closer to her  home.

While Andrea was fighting the medical battles, her family worked hard to prepare a home for her to come back to.  Kevin's parents graciously provided the basement of their home to Kevin who remodeled it to be fully handicapped accessible.  Sidewalks and ramps were installed to provide access through a basement entrance to her new home.  And a 2010 used handicap van was secured to provide transportation to Andrea's weekly appointments.  Depending on the doctor and location, these trips range from 75 miles to over 300 miles round trip.  Breaking down with Andrea in the van is not an option!

Kevin took training and became Andrea's care giver 24/7.  He receives support from physical therapists who come in on occasion,  and a nurse who comes in once a week.  As a consequence he is not able to work and receives a small stipend from the state as her caregiver.  Kevin and the van are Andrea's lifelines which allow her to remain in her home rather than going to a nursing home.  

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Unfortunately, the van has seen better days.  Despite regular maintenance on the van, the miles and years have taken their toll and the current van. It is in need of significant repairs or replacement.   Repairs to the van are estimated to be nearly $15,000.  The engine burns oil at a high rate,  tires need to be replaced, the lift is breaking down. and the transmission is not far behind. Quite simply, the current van is not a long term solution. 

Andrea needs a newer handicapped van.  These run around $35,000 for a relatively new van in good condition.  We need your help to secure this van for Andrea.  We have set our goal at $35,000 to insure we are able to get a quality van.  Andrea and Kevin live in Grant County Kentucky which is a rural county nearly 50 miles south of Cincinnati.  Without this transportation, she will not be able to get to her appointments.  The consequence is she will not be able to remain in the home.  That would be a tragedy for her and her family, and frankly a heavy financial burden transferred to the state.  

If we are not able to raise the full amount, we will look at other options.  We could spend the $15,000 needed to repair the current van and it would service them for a short time.  The long  term solution though is to replace the van.

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While Andrea has been confined to a wheelchair and is now a paraplegic, her spirit and infectious attitude have not  been harnessed.  She has continued to be an amazing mother and wife.  She has inspired many who have visited her with her faith.  She has been there for her children's graduations and marriages.  And she is proud as a new grandma, already setting out to spoil her new grand children.  

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We greatly appreciate anything you are able to give, even if it is only prayers.  Andrea and Kevin have worked too hard and fought too long for her to be able to be at home.  Everything is in place if we can only secure her ride!
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$6,150 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 53 people in 1 month
Created May 24, 2019
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