Please Help Survivor of Rare Traumatic Brain Disorder
Organized by: Huy Tran
May 10, 2016
EVENT DATE May 28, 2016
In February of 2015, I impatiently parked along the sidewalk of our residential neighborhood, cheerfully smiling as I pondered about how the future would greet me for the rest of this year. I quietly unlocked the front door as I cautiously stepped up the stair to not disrupt my roommates' sleep. I changed out of my soiled scrubs and continued fantasizing about my future in medicine as I took a steamy shower. Come June and I would graduate along with my fellow schoolmates in the inaugural public health program at the University of California, San Diego. The grand accomplishments during my senior year and future prospects dissipated in an instant. I was no longer waking up in the vicinity of La Jolla beaches. Instead, I woke up to the startling beeping of innovative medical machines that synchronized in a less than harmonic fashion. My only solace was that my family members were eagerly waiting with love and patience for the anticipated moment I would regain consciousness. I was diagnosed with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), a rare neurological disorder. Although I was initially traumatized and cried discreetly in solitude, I chose to look at my diagnosis as a blessing in disguise. I dismissed the unending questions as to how this devastating diagnosis had greeted me instead of my college diploma. I chose to thank it instead for it taught me the value and fragility of life and to never take a moment for granted. My intelligence may never be comparable to my peers but I believe I am wise coming out of this experience. Although graduation has been delayed, I learned an abundance of lessons through my journey as an ADEM patient. I am alive. I am capable. I am trying to become a better version of myself than I was yesterday. Most importantly, I am still committed to becoming a physician to devote the remainder of my time in this world committing myself to other people's lives. It's my biggest dream to have the privileged opportunity to study medicine in the near future. My current life now involves searching for appropriate employment positions, adhering to my anti-seizure medication daily, and combating mood instability, specifically anxiety and mild depression. My greatest challenge is having countless teleconferences with my insurance and the hospital's billing department. Unfortunately, my balance has been forwarded to the Department of Revenue and likely to collections within 30 days. Facing this unfathomable financial challenge after overcoming last year’s health affects me substantially. I strive to be proactive and have been persistently trying to get help from social workers but they were unable to resolve this challenge for me. In regards to my personal insurance, I have already met my out of pocket maximum and no further financial support is available. Receiving a donation of any amount would support my journey towards achieving optimal health to pursue my medical studies. My eventual goal is to become a neurologist to contribute to researching and working with individuals facing rare neurological disorders like ADEM.