Taeja's MS Battle
The things you take for granted, like hugging your child after work, are the things Taeja is fighting for right now because Multiple Sclerosis has taken over her life. She has fought for our country and now she is fighting for the chance to walk her daughter to her first day of kindergarten. Taeja knows that as long as this disease is overpowering her, she will never be able to be the mom she knows she can be. She wants the opportunity to be there to see her daughter grow up.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Kaci. Please take a minute to read this story and help if you can, every dollar counts. Even if all you can do is share Taeja’s story, it means more to us then you will ever know.
Taeja is a 23 year-old military veteran, a mother to a beautiful one year-old girl, a loving and caring friend and an inspiration to everyone that is lucky enough to know her. She was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) in 2013 at which point she lost her military career and started aggressive treatment to beat this terrible disease. She found that no matter how hard she fought the medications weren’t working and with every MRI there was further progression of the disease. Instead of getting down and discourage she kept her head up and kept fighting. After several Tysabri Infusions, her doctors finally thought they had a medication that was going to work for her, until blood work showed she would soon become a mother. At this point her pregnancy put her into remission and after having her beautiful little girl she was able to spend time with her with no symptoms, unfortunately it only lasted three months. A treatment, Tysabri, was started again but new lesions continued to form. At this point her MS is so aggressive she has no other treatment options and her doctors predict she will be wheel chair bound within a few months. There is a trial treatment in Illinois that Taeja was accepted to for one last chance of being able to play with her daughter and continue a “normal” 23 year-old life.
Why we need to get Taeja to Chicago:
After a lot of research, Taeja found a treatment that seemed perfect for her; Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation or HSCT. She submitted her medical records and was accepted to go to Chicago to meet with Dr. Burt and see if she was a good candidate for HSCT at which point she was accepted on the spot due to how aggressive her MS is. After the evaluation her prior authorizations were sent to her insurance and on December 24, 2015 Christmas came a little early for her when she received a call from the insurance company that they agreed to accept the treatment. At this point she waited for Dr. Burt’s office to call and set dates for her transplant and go over finances and that’s when she felt her dreams to be able to take back her life from MS were just that, dreams. Taeja had once told me that, “I just want to be able to come home from work one day and have Layla run up to me without the constant worry about how much pain I would be in if Layla touched me.”
The total fee needed just to set up her transplant dates that would need to be paid up front is $62,500.00. At this point, for the first time in her life she was discouraged and ready to give up. She never asks for help, she is the strongest person I know. She always has a smile on her face and the most positive attitude towards everything but the amount to schedule treatment seems unreal especially because she is already drowning in medical bills from all her previous treatments and that does not include travel costs to and from Chicago, hotel stays while she is there, missing anywhere from 6-8 months of work and continuing to provide for her daughter.
Any contribution that you can make helps, even if it is just sharing her story. Our goal is to get the word out and let the world hear Taeja's story. Thank you from Taeja's family to yours.
This week has definitely been one of the hardest weeks I've had in a while. I woke up on Monday with a sore throat and by Wednesday I had had full-blown exacerbation. I don't think I've had this much pain and mobility issues since I was first diagnosed in 2013. Looking back at my last MRI with my neurologist everything is slowly coming to light. Sometimes I forget just how nasty this disease really is. I woke up this morning needing help out of bed and everything that happened in 2013 is slowly coming back to me. My prayers are that I will be on my way to Chicago by April or May. My only hope at this point is that my mobility stays enough for me to continue to work and take care of Layla to my best ability before I leave to Chicago. You never want to believe all of the bad news you get at each doctors appointment, I almost though that I have been doing a good enough job that my neurologist was going to be wrong that I was looking at being wheelchair bound is 6 months. That was back in June of 2015 and now 9 months later it's starting to take over. At this point staying positive and optimistic about what's going to happen between now and treatment is what's going to keep me going. I'm so lucky enough to have my beautiful daughter, Mike, family and friends to help me physically and keep my spirits high.
Over the past week she has hit some
Bumps in the road, with flare ups and a minor relapse! She struggles with numbness and pain everyday but the new flare ups have cause numbness in her mid back and thighs as well as some circulation problems in her legs! Despite these new struggles she is staying strong and positive everyday thanks to all of you! We couldn't get her to Chicago without each one of you sharing her story and donating to her! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us give her a new chance at life!!