The Gift of Health this Holiday Season

$5,141 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 38 people in 3 months
Rhea, one of My Blind Spot's wonderful team members, needs our help in her battle with Lupus. This disease may have taken her eyesight, but it has not taken her positivity. Rhea has worked as a digital accessibility tester for My Blind Spot for just over a year, and has made a profound impact on our organization and each and every team member. And now - as a team - we come together to help Rhea in her time of need. We simply cannot do this alone, though. Our team has sent her all the funds we can each spare, but it's just not enough. We need to raise $25,000 so Rhea can receive the medication and care which will put her on the path to regaining her health.

In this season of giving, we humbly ask you to join us and give whatever you can - large or small - to help a fantastic person afford the medical treatment she needs.

A message from Rhea:

I am Rhea Althea Guntalilib, diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus since 2006. This auto immune illness has drastically changed my life. A decade ago, it took away my eyesight from me. In spite of being blind, I fought the odds and tried my best to live a normal life. I thought I was doing fine, but 2016 came and there I had yet another major flare which almost damaged my kidneys. But God is good, it was another battle that I managed to surpass. I resorted into different treatment approaches, both conventional and functional medicine perspectives just so I could achieve the optimal health that I’ve been longing, and I can proudly say that I’m getting there.

Sadly, another road bump came in the way, due to all the medications that I went through for the past 12 years, steroids in particular, my body is now dealing with all the bad consequences. I’ve been on maintenance medications every single day for 12 years now. Prolonged use of those drugs have been one of the major causes of major fungal infections in different areas of my body.

Since October this year, we have been constantly trying to treat my eye and ear infections. I took oral medicines, used topical drops, but none of them worked. In fact, the infections are progressing. I have them in my nails now and in some other part of my body. This has alarmed my doctors and I was advised to go through a 6-week intravenous anti-fungal treatment, which would hopefully start on December 18, 2018. We did several tests and scans (head, chest and
abdomen) the past week and it turned out that the infection indeed lodged in the head part of my body. I have soft tissue densities and all my sinuses are inflamed. My doctors also found out that there is an inflammation in the inner part of my left eye.

The only way to address all of these infections is through an anti-fungal drug (Amphotericin B) which approximately costs Php10,000 per dose and it needs to be administered to me every single day for 6 weeks straight. The medicine alone would cost me half a million. On top of it, I need to be confined for the first week for all the other added tests such as Cranial MRI, cultures and other blood tests, and for the remaining 5 weeks, I’ll be treated as an outpatient which means that I need to hire a private nurse to infuse the drug and rent a place near the hospital. I cannot afford to delay this treatment, for it was explained to me that as long as I have these infections, this would constantly trigger my Lupus disease.

This whole lupus journey had been physically, emotionally and financially draining for me and for my whole family. Since 2006, we have been constantly pouring out our resources for all the treatments that I needed to go through.

So in this season of giving, I am humbly knocking at your generous hearts to please help me raise funds for my upcoming IV anti-fungal treatment. Any amount would be of great help to me.

I’m positive that I am actually on my way to full recovery. I am honestly feeling much better as compared before that’s why I am so scared to slide back and be terribly sick again. I hope you could help me, so I could finally beat these infections and achieve the optimal level of health that I badly wanted.

Giving up is not an option for me especially now that I’ve gone this far. I know that this new challenge is just another miracle from God waiting to unfold. I want to believe that I’m now on my darkest hour, for the dawn will soon break.
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Thank you so much for coming together to support Rhea’s Medical Fundraiser! The entire My Blind Spot team is incredibly grateful. In the most recent update we just received, Rhea shares her story and the road ahead. This is Rhea’s most recent news since beginning her treatments just a short while ago and if you’d like to make a last-minute donation, the fund raiser is ending tomorrow, Saturday January 19.

From Rhea:
As you know, I was confined in the hospital last December 31, 2018. I went through different diagnostic tests such as MRI and different blood tests. It was very stressful for me and for my family because that day, we found out that what I need for my treatment is 6 vials a day and not just 1 vial. This is so to achieve the desired daily dose of my medicine. In short, what we thought to be half million for the entire 6-week treatment, it was actually half million pesos per week.

The following day, January 1, 2019, I moved to a different hospital because the previous hospital did not allow me to buy my medicines outside. In the new hospital where I transferred, they allowed me to get the medicines directly from the supplier so I was able to get it for a cheaper amount. I stayed in that hospital for a week, did my first week of infusion, and I went through a minor operating room procedure wherein they placed a central line here in my neck. This line is for my infusion. According to my doctors, it would be safer to have that rather than the usual IV lines in the hands since in my case, I’ll continue the treatment at home for 5 more weeks. And I can move freely and work freely since nothing is connected in my hands.

Currently, I am on my 15th day of infusion. I’m here in the unit that I rented. Then I hired a private nurse who visits me daily to administer the 6 hour infusion. I’m very thankful that I am responding well to the medicine. I’m physically ok. I do not feel weak. There are slight dizziness and light headedness every once in a while, but this is a normal side effect of the drug according to my doctor and this is manageable.

I am also very grateful that my kidneys are functioning well. We are closely monitoring my renal functions every after 3 to 4 days just to make sure that the reaction of the drug won’t destroy my kidneys. So far so good. So please continue to pray for me.

As for the financial side, the funds you sent me has been really helpful. That covered few days of my medicines plus the salary of my private nurse and I was able to use it as well for my regular blood tests for my kidneys. So thank you so much again.

Also, family and friends are helping me out. My cousins and my friends organized a benefit concert for me last Saturday. Unfortunately, the photos are in my Facebook account. Wish I could share them to all of you, but you could just check it in my Facebook account in case you want to look at them. I am using this email in my Facebook account and my account name there is “Althea Guntalilib”.

We are also reaching out to different government organizations here and to some politicians to hopefully get some assistance for my medicines. I am also actively looking for projects and other opportunities to earn so that i can at least help in sustaining all the other expenses for the entire duration of my treatment.

Thank you once again for all your love, prayers and support.

Sincerely, Rhea
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As all of you know, I am Rhea’s direct supervisor at MBS. When she asked for our support it seemed obvious what we had to do. And as evidenced by the outpouring of generosity, many of you agreed. Since Rhea is presently unbanked, I will be withdrawing the funds in my name and transferring them to her to cover the costs of her medical treatments. I will be transferring the funds raised to Rhea via PayPal. Once we have effected that we will keep you all posted. Additionally, once Rhea is up to the task, we will ask her for a health update and share it with all of you. Thanks again for all of your support!
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Thanks one and all for your greatly appreciated generosity. Treatments are scheduled to begin in a few days and we are at 10% of our goal. We are asking you to keep Rhea in your prayers and the holiday spirit in your hearts and help Rhea ring in a happier and healthier 2019!
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Read a Previous Update

$5,141 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 38 people in 3 months
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