Organized by: Stephanie Westbrook
My name is Stephanie and I have severe Crohns Disease. I was diagnosed in 2010 after years of being sick and having no answers. A few months later I was very ill and asked a friend to rush me to the emergency room because we thought I had came down with the stomach flu that her little sister had we thought I got it from her due to me helping her take care of her little sister. 8 hours later in the ER the doctor came in and said they were admitting me. The Crohns Disease had gotten so severe that it had killed and eaten through almost 2 1/2 feet of my colon. In the months before my admission I had dropped over 60 pounds and was anywhere from 85-90 pounds. I was diagnosed with anemia and said I was severely anorexic and had no vitamins or essential nutrition left. They needed to do surgery but were unable to until they got my levels higher. A month later still in the hospital and after being on a vigorous steroid and antibiotic IV and being fed through a port they put in my stomach I was able to have surgery. They acted quickly and took over 2 feet of my colon out that was dead and I woke up with a colostomy bag. They told me I had to wear the bag for 6 months to a year to give my colon a break. Well 5 almost 6 years later fighting to keep weight on fighting to keep myself alive finally going into remission early this year. Doctors told me that I could finally have my final surgery but they would have to remove my whole colon to reduce my chances of getting Colon cancer and hopefully reducing my chances of a relapse. They took me off my remicade (medication that put me in remission) and scheduled my surgery for 9/14/2016. well on 09/08/2016 the hospital called and said that my surgery was $30,000 and they said they gave me a 45% discount that brought it down to $16,000. They also told me (last minute) that I had 5 days to get $16,000 to pay for the surgery or they wouldn't be able to perform it. My parents are so amazing and have been fighting with my insurance day after day because they have been paying for insurance this whole time but haven't been going towards any coverage. Without insurance will not be able to have this surgery or get back on my medication that is needed to continue to fight this and have already started to relapse. I would love to help my parents pay for a better insurance policy so some stress can be take off them due to my mother being very ill herself. Despite her illness she has broken her back and drove me two hours countless times to Charleston, SC just to go to the doctor. Well now I am no longer able to go due to the insurance people screwing them over. Please help me raise some money to help my parents for insurance. If I can pay for insurance I won't have to worry about the $16,000 and I could have my surgery and remain on my medication. Anything will help. Please share this and spread the word. I don't like asking for hand outs but at this point I am desperate. Thank you so much for helping my family and I. We appreciate all of you so much!