My daughter has suffered from severe inflammatory bowel disease (Ulcerative Colitis) for nearly a decade. As the disease has progressed within the past few years she is severely struggling to manage her illness, and now the medical expenses that have accrued in a desperate attempt to get her disease under control are beginning to greatly impact her ability to manage her daily bills and livelihood. Nicole has health insurance through her employer, however the coverage is minimal and only covers 50% of her hospital stays and all tests and procedures, after a very high deductible has been satisfied. Many of her treatments are costly and are not a covered service under her plan at all.
Nicole is currently on medical leave from work and facing further hospitalization. She will not be receiving any income for at least another month, pending we are able to get her disease under control by then. On top of that she has had to accept the fact that her disease can not allow her to keep full time employment when she returns, in an attempt to not further exacerbate the severity of her illness. This has been a great struggle for her to come to terms with as she loves her job and is a hard worker.
Nicole has worked full time since she was 17 years old, while going to school full time to get her Bachelor’s degree with a 4.0 GPA. This is not the situation she expected to be facing at only 28 years old and asking for help is not something she is often comfortable with.
Ulcerative Colitis is a lifelong, chronic condition that has no cure. It is a faulty autoimmune response in which the body sees the colon as a threat and actually attacks it, causing ulcers, inflammation, infection and severely diseased tissue. There are times where my daughter is going to the bathroom over 40 times a day and is a prisoner in her own home. Along with the constant bloody and uncontrollable bowel movements she also suffers from severe joint pain and several other complications caused from the autoimmune response. Dehydration, anemia and malnutrition are very common, even though my daughter is active and tries her best to live a healthy lifestyle. She has recently lost over 20 pounds, which is a lot for her being that she normally weighs less than 118 lbs. She can not tolerate anything but liquid supplement drinks and her diseased colon does not allow for proper absorption of nutrients. This disease causes intolerable pain and eating has become an extreme struggle. Our goal is to preserve her colon for as long as possible but surgery to remove her colon is becoming more and more likely, as the state of her disease also puts her at a very high risk of developing colon cancer and other complications.
My daughter has a difficult time asking for help and that is why I have felt the need to step in. Those who know me know that Nikki’s situation causes me great distress. No mother wants to see her child suffer as Nikki currently is. Any contributions, no matter how large or small, will help to take away some of the financial stress that she is facing in the hopes that she can then focus more on her recovery. Thanks from the bottom of my heart and it would be greatly appreciated if you could share Nikki’s story and her situation! THANKS!!!