My brother was diagnosed with MS

$4,440 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 44 people in 4 months
Created July 1, 2018
My 29-year old brother’s life was going smoothly. He was a couple years into a secure full-time job with benefits—the first in his life—working at a company that produces high-quality lumber scanning equipment. He and his new wife had just closed on their first home. Most importantly, they had recently welcomed their sweet, precocious, gentle daughter Alexandria into their lives. My partner and I visited our families in Oregon over Thanksgiving and met my new niece for the first time—she was just five weeks old. Everyone was in great spirits and the baby was adorable.

Back in Utah I was chatting with Charlie and he asked, out of the blue, what I knew about causes of double vision. The truth was, as a PT student, I only knew a little. “How long have you been experiencing this?” I asked. “…Hm, a year and a half, maybe? Two?” Recognizing my tendency toward the dramatic, I tried to dampen my initial alarm. “Well, it could be due to issues with an isolated cranial nerve. Is it true double vision, or just dizziness? It could be related to your inner ear…” I learned that Charlie was also experiencing facial droop that changed his ability to smile and show facial expression. He experienced occasional numbness, difficulty moving his legs, and vertigo. “Walking with head turns? I definitely couldn’t do that.” I tried to attribute it to overwork: to the stresses of being a new father and sole breadwinner. I even tried to convince myself it was just dehydration. On the other hand, my brother tends not to show his stresses unless he finds them intractable. “You need to see a doctor as soon as you can, Charlie,” I stated. He replied, “I know…”

After several weeks, I heard from him. “Well, the good news is, I don’t have cancer. I don’t have Myasthenia Gravis. I don’t have Parkinson’s. I don’t have BPPV. The bad news is…the docs think I have Multiple Sclerosis.” The image of his brain showed at least a dozen bright areas of fluid: signs of inflammation where his body was attacking its own nervous system. Results of his chest image identified lesions throughout his spinal cord.

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Of course, our entire family has been trying to process this news. It has been a struggle for me to accept that my younger brother, also a new father, could have such a staggering, life-long diagnosis. In my own small way, I am hoping to make a positive impact on this new situation. I have created a fundraiser in the hopes of providing financial resources for un-reimbursed medical and pharmacy costs within this first year post-diagnosis. My brother has had a bare-bones insurance plan. In these early months, diagnostic procedures and certain medications have nearly drained his young savings account.

I am approaching my network in hopes of helping Charlie cover this year’s unexpected medical costs. If I weren't myself a student, I'd want to do it independently. My goal is that as a group, we can cover his maximum out-of-pocket cost of $4000. At the least, this will allow him to return to his financial baseline and continue to provide as well as he can for his wife Ashten and their daughter, for whom he is such a natural father. “It’s as though I can’t imagine life before Alex,” he reflected on his first Father’s Day.

Even the smallest donation will help. We humbly thank you for considering a gift to keep Charlie and his young family on their feet.
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We made our goal! Thank you all SO much! This lets my brother return to his pre-diagnosis savings levels and go on with his life as well as possible with this news. We are so humbled by your assistance in accomplishing this. Words are not enough to express our thanks.
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$4,440 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 44 people in 4 months
Created July 1, 2018
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