Help Jestina Get the Surgery She Needs
Organized by: Jestina Roberts
Hi, my name is Jestina and I'm 19 years old. I'm majoring in communications and I work as a retail key holder. My goal in life to eventually earn my J.D. and begin practicing disability law. I love working in customer service and helping others, but ultimately I want to make a difference for people like myself who struggle with disabilities.
For the past six years of my life, I've struggled to find a medical diagnosis for pain that I have in my neck and upper back until now. In April of this year, I was diagnosed with a rare disease called Familial Partial Lipodystrophy -- it's a genetic disease that causes my body to produce fat and distribute it in abnormal ways. I have no fat in my arms, legs, or torso, but all of my fat is carried in my neck and upper back.
Along with diabetes, trouble with my liver, and other dangerous symptoms, it puts a lot of pain and pressure in those areas. I can't lay down flat, stand, or sit for long periods of time. I have tried physical therapy, nerve blocking injections, and prescribed painkillers but all three have taken negative tolls on my health and I've been forced to stop. I have been forced to stop taking painkillers because of the additional damage it does to my liver. I can't even turn my head because of the fat buildups in my neck which makes it unsafe to drive.
My family and I have been told by several doctors and therapists that the only way to alleviate the pain is by having the fat surgically removed. Since receiving my diagnosis, I have been given three letters from three separate doctors and specialists stating that liposuction of my neck and back is medically necessary but my health insurance will not approve the claim. I have applied for two different kinds of financing but have been denied because of lack of credit. My final option is to pay for this surgery out of pocket and the estimate is for $5500.
My family is not in a place where they can help me pay for this so this responsibility has fallen into my hands but I can't do it on my own. I work full-time in retail as a key holder to pay for community college because I don't receive any assistance for tuition and taking on an extra $5500 is something that isn't reasonable. If I divide my paychecks to where half goes to my tuition and the other half to my surgery, I won't have enough to pay for it until October 2016. I don't deserve to be financially strapped, in incredible pain, and in a state of mental turmoil for another year.
I just want to be able to experience life and the things it has to offer without being constantly managed by my pain. I really, really need your help. Even if it's just $10 or $20, that's better than what the government or my insurance is doing by me and I would be incredibly grateful. Even if you can't spare anything, I would love it if you could share this with others. Thanks so much for reading and for your help!