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Shine Forward for Melissa Kirby

Organized by: Jennifer Sawant

Jennifer's Photo
Jennifer's Photo
Jennifer's Photo
Jennifer's Photo
Jennifer's Photo
Jennifer's Photo
Jennifer's Photo
Jennifer's Photo
Jennifer's Photo
Jennifer's Photo
Jennifer's Photo
Jennifer's Photo
 

August 2017 Update
August 20, 2017

Thanks to all of our wonderful friends and family, we have raised funds to assist in Melissa's ongoing needs. It's truly amazing what we have See More

EVENT DATE Jul 30, 2016

THE STORY:

On April 8, 2014, Melissa was jogging early one evening when she suddenly collapsed and suffered from multiple brain stem strokes that left her without the ability to move or speak. Only 42 years old, Melissa was a healthy and vibrant wife and mother of two young children, and an active member of her community. She loved yoga and exercise, volunteering at her children's school, working as a partner at Shine Creative and being with her family. 

Despite this devastating event that changed the trajectory of Melissa and her family's life, her spirit still shines through. Melissa has full cognitive function; however, she must now relearn how to move and talk again - the most laborious task of her life.  

In June 2014, Melissa transitioned from the John Hopkins Medical Center Brain Recovery Unit in Baltimore, MD to a nearby skilled nursing facility where she receives intensive speech, physical and occupational therapy six days/week. Melissa's husband, Matt, and their children, Colette, 12, and Kingston, 8, cope the best they can in the interim; but miss her at home beyond what we can fathom. It has been two years since their mom has been home. While Melissa continues to receive medical care in a skilled setting, expenses incur beyond the traditional medical care such as rehabilitation therapy, transportation, and adaptive equipment. 

Recovery for this type of rare and catastrophic stroke is a slow and gradual process, but not impossible! Studies in neuroplasticity show that the brain can create new pathways of development and there are many success stories out there to prove it, but like many forms of exercise and therapy, it is only effective if you use it. Unfortunately, health insurance does not provide continual and expansive coverage for this type of rehabilitation therapy.  When the brain loses neural connections after a stroke, it can be hard to rewire; but Melissa’s progress across her therapies show that it’s working!

Melissa is showing strides in speech therapy, focused on the dynamics of speaking and swallowing.  Although she receives nutrients and liquids through a gastric tube, slowly increasing the intake of her mom's homemade organic smoothies is a start to her feeding goals. While she can produce the occasional soft "no", "yea", and "hi", she still has a lot of work to do with regaining the sound of her voice. While she works towards the sound, her voice is heard by communicating with an alphabet chart.

Physical and occupational therapy is mainly focused on trunk control and core strengthening. Her right arm is active in showing movements. Her left side is starting to come around by showing some activity. The electricity is there--toes, ankle, leg, thigh, hip, shoulder, arm, wrist, hand, fingers connecting--and the slight movements are growing as the energy syncopates and works at catching up to the right side.

The endurance of sitting up, standing and shifting weight, is tapping into all of Melissa's yoga and core training experience. In physical therapy, Melissa gets on her feet daily with support. Early on she would be nervous and tentative, now she is much stronger and more assured. She has also been able to step forward with her right leg (with support!). She will get there. Her spirit is bright, her memory intact, her personality and wit ever-present throughout.

Even under the most challenging odds, stroke survivors can make remarkable, unexpected recoveries with the help of rehabilitative therapies. Melissa’s rehabilitation will require in excess of $100,000/year for the ongoing progressive therapy she will need beyond the ‘standard recovery time’ deemed by the insurance plan. Please consider donating to help continue Melissa’s rehabilitation therapy on her road to recovery as she inches closer to returning home to her family.  

Any donation is appreciated beyond what words can express.  On behalf of Melissa and her family, THANK YOU. We are eternally grateful for your generous donations, soulful prayers, thoughtful words of well wishes, positive thoughts and energy. Together, we will SHINE FORWARD for Melissa!

***Please note that if you click on 'edit' on the donation section, there are options to minimize or opt out of the processing fee on this site, thank you!***

DONATE

To This Fundraiser

$23,580

 

47% Raised of $50,000 Goal

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  • The Zielinski Family

    $100

  • Maggie Boasberg

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $25

  • Kara Johnson

    $100

  • Colorado McMahons

    $52

  • anonymous

    $250

  • Anonymous

    $10

  • The Wheelers

    $50

  • Julie and Myles Norin

    $150

  • Nancy and Chris Williams

    $50

  • Kathleen Conklin

    $25

  • Elizabeth Ryan

    $25

  • Kristi Greer

    $100

  • Zvezdana Stojmirovic

    $100

  • Maria Uy

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Earl Stone

    $25

  • Kylie & Danny Lobell

    $18

  • Jennifer Williams (Friend of Michele and Jen)

    $100

  • Jonathan & Beth Sawant

     

  • John and Katy Manley

    $25

  • Steve and Lori Morell

    $50

  • Angel

    $100

  • Andra O'Neill

    $100

  • Friend of Stephanie

    $100

  • Hana & Harper

     

  • Michele Gersman and Justin Shear

    $20

  • Anonymous

     

  • Karla Medrano

    $25

  • McMahons

    $34

  • Anonymous

    $10

  • McMahon family

    $25

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Caroline Rivers

    $100

  • Anonymous

     

  • Fred Daubert

    $25

  • Marie Griffin

    $25

  • Melanie Cantwell

    $100

  • Dennis & Deanna Maffei

    $150

  • Gary Lamolinara Family

     

  • Tamra Healy

    $25

  • Russ & Nancy Congleton

     

  • Sean Everskemper

    $50

  • Anonymous

     

  • Hickman family

     

  • Leslie Inciardi

    $50

  • Jonathan and Lisa Corn

     

  • Andrea Ketza

     

  • Anonymous

    $25

  • Kate and Tom O'Neill

    $100

  • Diane Brown

    $50

  • Amy Goldberg & Tracey Halvorsen

    $500

  • Megan McCarthy

    $25

  • Jackie and Rick

    $100

  • Lauren Shaham

     

  • Bill and Bobbi Flowers

    $50

  • Trish and Frank Gossman

    $100

  • Sallie Ann and Richard Marsh

    $200

  • Alves Family

    $100

  • Gray Family

     

  • Megan and Tiff

    $100

  • Katherine Shaw (Steph Ford's sister)

    $100

  • Kyle Fritz

    $150

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Regina and Larry Valentine

    $250

  • Eric and Cassie Sundberg

     

  • Barbara Ford

     

  • Laboratorie

    $250

  • Allan and Theresa Widlake

    $100

  • wilde lake

    $100

  • Jean Teillon

    $100

  • Adam Shanosky

    $100

  • Tom Wolkow

    $100

  • Joleen & Joel Dinolt

    $100

  • Donna and David DuPree

    $25

  • Gregg & Sharon

    $100

  • David Dickerson

    $200

  • Kara Johnson

     

  • Lynde Pratt & Ron Masotta

     

  • Will Kerner

     

  • Anika Ingram

     

  • Andrea Ketza

     

  • Jennifer Sawant

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • The Grantz Family

     

  • Sarah, Preston, Isaiah, and Charlotte

    $50

  • McDonald Family

    $100

  • Jyotsna Pawar

     

  • Anonymous

     

  • Anonymous

    $20

  • Jen and Tom Dyszkiewicz

    $100

  • Jennifer Sawant

    $250

  • Andrew & Sharon Blume

    $100

  • Nancy A Ryan

    $50

  • The Wethington Family

     

  • Russ and Nancy Congleton

     

  • Jackson & Nicole Morrill

    $200

  • Gimigliano

     

  • Lynn, Ted, and Lena Levendosky

    $100

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Organized by

Jennifer Sawant

This is a direct to organizer fundraiser.

Donor Comments

Lynn, Ted, and Lena Levendosky

Lynn, Ted, and Lena Levendosky

DONATION: $100

2 months ago

Gimigliano

Gimigliano

3 months ago

Jackson & Nicole Morrill

Jackson & Nicole Morrill

DONATION: $200

3 months ago

Russ and Nancy Congleton

Russ and Nancy Congleton

3 months ago

The Wethington Family

The Wethington Family

Sending good vibes from us to you. Sorry we cannot make the event this year! 4 months ago

Nancy A Ryan

Nancy A Ryan

DONATION: $50

4 months ago

Andrew & Sharon Blume

Andrew & Sharon Blume

DONATION: $100

4 months ago

Jennifer Sawant

Jennifer Sawant

DONATION: $250

Get it, Missy! Wishing you continued healing and happiness and you continue to make positive strides! Love you always 💕 4 months ago

Jen and Tom Dyszkiewicz

Jen and Tom Dyszkiewicz

DONATION: $100

5 months ago

Anonymous

ANONYMOUS

DONATION: $20

6 months ago

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