Help My Road To Recovery

$100,177 of $45,000 goal

Raised by 1,733 people in 2 months
Created October 9, 2018
MGoBlog

My name is Ace Anbender and I've written for MGoBlog since 2011. I've had ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) since around 2005, and while I've been able to work through those restrictions for the past several years, I'm no longer able to do so.

With the support of Brian Cook and the rest of the crew at MGoBlog, I'm stepping down from my position as managing editor. I'm simply no longer able to keep up with the workload without doing damage to my health.

While we are taking steps to secure disability for me, that can be a difficult and protracted process for people with ME/CFS. I speak from personal experience; I watched as my father, who also has ME/CFS, spent two decades in court fighting for worker's compensation against an insurance company that wasn't willing to acknowledge his illness was real, let alone debilitating.

Meanwhile, my financial situation is tenuous. I'm currently living alone in a townhouse that costs $900/month after my housemates moved out on short notice when I was physically unable to move myself. My plan to continue living here involved considerable financial support from my family, which for reasons I won't get into here I can no longer totally rely upon, and continuing to work. This has all happened rather quickly.

I made a little under $50,000 last year—Brian has taken great care of me—and maintaining something close to that income would allow me to truly relax and do what I need to manage my health. Over the past several years, my annual medical costs have ranged from $10,000 to $30,000—my prescription medications alone nearly match my monthly rent. I need to make yearly trips to Alabama to see my ME/CFS specialist, a world-class doctor in a field with vanishingly few experts. (My doctor is one of a couple of ME/CFS specialists that the head of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at U-M will recommend to patients; he does not recommend seeking treatment for ME/CFS at U-M.)

In my current state, work is not an option, and really hasn't been much of one since I had surgery on my gall bladder and esophagus in May. I'm in constant pain, my weight is stuck in a frighteningly low zone of 130-135 pounds (I'm 5'10), I'm sleeping around 12 hours a day and essentially in a state of semi-consciousness for several more, and simple tasks like doing the dishes or even walking down the stairs takes considerable effort. ME/CFS symptoms often follow waves of severity and this is a low point; I'm optimistic rest and less stress will at least stabilize my health to its pre-surgery level and allow me to live a fuller life.

Once I've been able to rest and recover, I hope to be able to turn my attention to advocating for ME/CFS patients and writing a book on my experience in dealing with this illness for half of my life. It's very much against my nature to ask for financial help, but I'm in a position now where I don't have any choice, and I know I can do a lot of good if given the room to do so.

Thank you all for your support, both now and through the years. Every little bit helps.
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The money cannon is undefeated.

I thought it was safe to take a nap, but by the time I woke up you all had already rallied to raise enough to hit the initial goal.

I'll admit I wasn't sure where to set this. The initial goal should get me through a year while maintaining my current treatment and living situation, which is an incredible gift.

If you're still able to give, every bit allows me to live less "check-to-check," gives me critical flexibility to react to a health event, and hopefully adds some time to my recovery period. I wouldn't ask if it wouldn't get put to use. ME/CFS has prevented me from saving any money—almost everything above the usual rent/food/utilities/etc has been put into my health in some form or another, whether it's travel to specialists or expensive prescriptions or hospital bills or whatever else comes up.

Your remarkable generosity has bought me time, which for ME/CFS patients is recovery, which is life. I've been waiting to get some meat on my bones, but I'm getting that wonderful Animal/Wolverbear tattoo soon. Without my community, I have nothing. Nil Nisi Ambo. (Nothing if not both—or, you can't have one without the other.)
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$100,177 of $45,000 goal

Raised by 1,733 people in 2 months
Created October 9, 2018
MGoBlog
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