SPINA BIFIDA FUNDRAISER FOR JOSH

$8,770 of $38,000 goal

Raised by 151 people in 66 months
We are setting up this page for our Friend(s) JOSHUA Bridgewater & his wife Shawna. Joshua & his wife have been dealing w/some very hard times for the last few yrs. (theyve only been married 7  yrs. ) During their engagement & marriage Josh has had 14 of his 36 surgeries(w/more on the horizon) Along w/all these surgeries comes ALOT of medical bills that They just cant keep up with. Constantly they've had their  electricity, gas, phones,internet shut off making it hard for them to even put food in the fridge/ Forcing them to remain in an apartment w/black mold for over a yr due to not having any funds to move. Often having to sleep on inflateable mattresses at friends places on front room floors.  Josh ended up getting pneumonia from the mold on top of everything else he already deals with. Now has to use inhaler due to it.    Josh generally works from home selling vintage clothing online, when hes not healing from surgeries, going to Countless dr.appts, or doing physical therapy, along w/the often sickness he deals w/keeping him bed ridden days at a time w/ constant bowel,stomache and bladder problems.                                                                                                                      So some of theyre friends, and local businesses have started a fundraiser in JOSHUA's honor to help relieve their stress/ keep them in their Current Mold Free apt, and keep their phones and internet on so that he can keep working and provide for his familys Needs(gas,electricity,food etc) not to mention the $50,000 in medical bills (and GROWING, as he continues to keep seeing spinal surgeons/specialists for his current issues hes having w/shrinking leg muscles,nerve loss etc that hes tried to get answers to for well over a yr, enduring many Painful tests involving probing needles attached to electrodes poked into his muscle tissues and more..w/little to no results so far)    ANY DONATIONS WILL HELP!!!.  if we could get just 1000 people to donate just $50  we'd be able to wipe out all of their CURRENT medical bills and keep the Collectors at bay,which are constantly calling them,& sending them letters.
Despite all theyve been through in their yrs together. The Bridgewater couple are some of the nicest, upbeat people who truly radiate LOVE as it should be . You see this immediately when you meet them. Josh is one of the most Positive people ive had the privelege to meet. He rarely lets on about how much pain he's in, how sick he gets, or his personal/financial struggles. He has a serious Lust for Life, you can even see it in all of his hospital photos. Always throwing a smile and Hang Loose. When he goes in for surgeries and his wife is crying due to her fear that everything will turn out ok. Josh is cracking jokes, praying over her to remain calm and to stay Positive.  He often quotes that what gets him through day to day life is "P.M.A. and Stoke for life" (Positive Mental Attitude)   to truly KNOW josh is to love him. His positive demeanor is contagious. For someone who has been through so much in his life, youd never know it due to how he carries himself. He sees the beautiful in the smallest things, children, animals, just a nice sunny day. Never taking one moment for granted, ..When he is feeling good you'll find him at the local skatepark (even at 42 yrs old), surfing, snowboarding or anything else he puts his mind too. Not to bad for a kid who was told in the 70's that he'd never be able to WAlK! The Dr's obviously didnt know who they were talkin to. :)

A Little background story. Josh was born w/a huge hole in his back w/his spinal cord exposed to the outside of his body. His first Experience in this world was having Surgery. And that hasnt stopped to this day. As mentioned, he's had 32 surgeries, ranging from straightening out his severely bowed legs/ 3 times. Spinal cord surgery /5 times. (recently /right before he was to get married.. he had a routine spinal surgery where unfortunatley he contacted a staph infection/which came 1 day from Killing him. left him in the hospital for 29 days on Antibiotic i.v.'s and spinal tap.  Dr 's told him he was lucky to be alive and that he may not WALK out of their due to the Spinal Meningitis he now had.  Josh's Positive Response" im not only gonna walk out of here, but im gonna Dance, because i have a wedding to Dance at in a couple of months" and he DID Dance at his wedding/  nothing keeps him down)  Having his bladder replaced w/a fake bladder / 4 times. (prior to him being able to have a fake bladder  he had to wear diapers& a rubber Urinary collection device on his leg all throughout school/high school. Often taunted being called "piss pocket", "bag fag" & more.  which lead to years of depression etc. but eventuallly as he grew up he got more secure and Embraced his condition and became the awesome / positive person he is Today )  their have been countless more surgeries. too many to list.                                                                                                   Since theyve been married the medical troubles started on day one.... Josh ended up in the E.R. on their honeymoon in hawaii 3 times. Making their honeymoon a bit more burdensome then one would hope for.  Turns out his fake bladder was Eroding and needed immediate removal.  When they got home from honeymoon he had to have immediate surgery to Remove it, then several months later had to have yet Another fake bladder Implanted  leaving him bed ridden w/tubes in his stomache for about 6 months. Meanwhile his wife who had a great paying job got Layed off. She remained layed off and looking for work for almost 2 yrs... This forced josh to sell all his prized posessions at the time, his motorcycle, vintage furniture, his car (they downsized to be one car family) ,Collectibles, childhood toys/sports cards etc pretty much anything of value to pay rent/ have food in fridge. 
      Fast forward to Today, things are looking up. Shawna is now a manager at a local clothing store Buffalo Exchange. making $15 /hr working Full Time.  Josh still tries to sell vintage clothes when he can, but nearly impossible when they cant afford to keep internet/phones on.   WE Really hope that this fundraiser and THIS Page in particular will be a Success in helping them relieve the Stress/Burden and Worry that comes along w/owing so much in medical bills that they Clearly cant pay for. This Family truly needs a Break.  I could write so much more about what He/ & They have endured together, how awesome he is as a positive person,and how they are Together. But that would take days to write. Hopefully these few paragraphs give a glimpse of what theyre dealing with/ who they are/ and why they are deserving of anyones help that can help this couple out. Thanks for your time and Consideration.   and as Josh would say.. "Cheers,   P.M.A. All the Way"!!!
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Heres some recent photos of Josh's 37th surgery. His 11th one in 24 months. Mostly all surgeries are due to his debilitating condition/lifelong birth defect Spina Bifida. This most recent surgery was a shoulder replacement surgery at only 43 yrs old (surgeon says they dont usually do This surgery on people til theyre in their 60s. But since Josh is partially paralyzed from waiste down due to the Spina Bifida, he had to overcompensate in life w/ upper body strength & overuse, leaving his shoulders in chronic pain w/out Any cartilage left. The constant grinding of bone on bone was too much to bear , so they implanted a medal rod & shoulder plate to help alleviate some of the pain for now. More shoulder surgeries are to be expected. But his POSITIVE attitude is still at the forfront despite all the pain, long recovery & huge financial burden these 11 surgeries in only 2 yrs time have brought him & his wife . Spending This healing Time to still be their for others, giving away things that bring joy to others (*see photo of him w/ friend who had jer skateboard stolen, so he rallied up some gear from friends to give her a new complete set up) His arm was in sling for last couple months, but now he's deep into the rehabilitation part of his recovery. Which will take several months. Then they want to operate on the other shoulder, starting this whole process over again. leading to surgery #38 & what will be 12 Surgeries in a little over 2 yrs. No real end in sight, as far as surgeries go.... & so the financial burdens continue to plague his life. They were recently homeless for couple months , but landed a little studio apartment. They continue to sell off PERSONAL belongings, all their furniture, clothing, memorabilia, sentimental items etc to pay off the bills. But every $1 donated Here is also of Great help & very Appreciated. Thank You.
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It's been quite sometime since we've updated any info on Josh's health. But Currently he's at home healing from surgery #37/ 11th one in a lol over 2 yrs. The medical debt piling up. His recovery from This major surgery is 6 Months at Least, & we're already told that after he Heals from THIS surgery, He will be having another major surgery. Immediately after. Another Shoulder Replacement. Even though he's 20 yrs too Young to really be going through these shoulder replacement , Spina Bifida has contributed to wearing out All the cartilage in both hos shoulders, leaving him in daily massive pain from the bones grinding on one another, no Cartilage left, bone spurs growing that pinch off nerves etc. As per usual Josh is facing all of this with a Positivity that is unmatched. His wife by his side, working full time & taking care of him as he's not able to do alot for himself at the moment. He was hospitalized for 4 days This time & now is going through the Long process of Healing in their studio apartment. Meanwhile, they've Sold ALL of their furniture & continue to keep selling off their own possessions on efforts to pay off the endless medical debt. To make matters worse , their only vehicle was just Towed last week when it broke down, due to a bad fuel pump which is Needing replaced (*cost $450 w/ labor etc) So this Gofundme account stays active since it was set up a couple of yrs ago. Because Josh & His wife's NEEDS for Assistance HASN'T changed, but has just Continued ever since this account has been set up. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for ALL the assistance so far, but we are far from out of the woods , so to speak. Please lend a hand if you can. Thank You
This is most recent photo of Josh & His wife Shawna @ hospital having his last surgery on March 2nd / This Month
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here's a photo of what's kept Josh in a wheelchair for almost 4 months. he has a long road ahead. w/rehab, physical therapy etc. Not sure what the final result will be... but he has high hopes of being able to participate in his fav activities as an Adaptive (handicapped/differently Abled) athlete...Surfing, Snowboarding, & Of Course remaining the Oldest Skateboarder in the World w/Spina Bifida
this was josh's last surgery, they had to install all of this hardware in hopes of it allowing him to Walk again. His ankle completely shattered, requiring 2 major surgeries...
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heres more current photos of Us.. not too computer Savvy. not sure how to add more than one photo
even though our circumstances are bleak, we still manage to Get OUT & not let it ruin our lust for life, finding FREE things to do , like this Car show this weekend. Gotta Stay POSITIVE
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Read a Previous Update
Buddy N Bettie
63 months ago

Thank you Rose, we Just saw your comment .=) I just came on here quickly to see if there was any activity. Trust me we've been doing a lot of praying for a long time. If it wasn't for that we'd fall apart. We always stay afloat a d have what we Need as promised =) we feel really Blessed being given This opportunity to be a part of something like this that some friends started for us. Thank you for your prayers and words. Your in ours too along w/the whole association of brothers And sisters

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Rose Hank
63 months ago

Shawna & Josh many thoughts and prayers going out to you both continue to pray and rely on our almighty God, he will always be by your side. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers..

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$8,770 of $38,000 goal

Raised by 151 people in 66 months
Created March 10, 2014
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CB
$50
Chanealie Barnes
8 months ago
1
1
FL
$20
Fabien Lawniczak
9 months ago
1
1
$10
Scotty Coats
13 months ago
1
1
NU
$200
Nolan Uebelhor
13 months ago
$20
Anonymous
14 months ago
TC
$20
Trent Cooper
14 months ago
CB
$20
Collin Brant
14 months ago
OH
$30
Oliver Hoffmann
14 months ago
DM
$20
Dawn McCardle
16 months ago
1
1

Howdy from Texas! Stay positive & strong...PMA!!!

Buddy N Bettie
63 months ago

Thank you Rose, we Just saw your comment .=) I just came on here quickly to see if there was any activity. Trust me we've been doing a lot of praying for a long time. If it wasn't for that we'd fall apart. We always stay afloat a d have what we Need as promised =) we feel really Blessed being given This opportunity to be a part of something like this that some friends started for us. Thank you for your prayers and words. Your in ours too along w/the whole association of brothers And sisters

+ Read More
Rose Hank
63 months ago

Shawna & Josh many thoughts and prayers going out to you both continue to pray and rely on our almighty God, he will always be by your side. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers..

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