Weʼve raised $0 to help fund stem cell therapy not covered by insurance
- Rockford, IL, United States
- Closed on Monday, 9th October 2017
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Hi, my name is Karen Pendzinski and I’m interested in stem cell therapy for the treatment of my Multiple Sclerosis. I am seeking $7,000 for the treatment and it will be administered in Vernon Hills, Illinois. I am on Social Security disability, live in an assisted living facility, and am unable to afford this treatment. I know that the treatment will allow me to improve my quality of life.
I’d like to tell you about my life experience living with Multiple Sclerosis. I was first diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis in December 2005, and diagnosed with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in June 2013.
I lived an active life beginning at the age of five. I began taking piano lessons after watching Lawrence Welk every week. I wanted to learn how to play the piano so bad, so I started piano lessons when I was in Kindergarten. After only six months, I started complaining my hands hurt from pushing the keys (a symptom of MS). I’d cry to my parents and beg them to do something. All that was done was switching my lessons from piano to organ. That turned out to be a good solution for a number of years. I believe this was the start of my MS problems.
Throughout my childhood years, playing the organ consumed my life. I didn’t spend much time outside because the sun would bother me and I’d feel sick (a symptom of MS). My mother would yell at me to go outside, but I’d complain the sun made me sick. She would just say it’s all in my head. I started playing the organ in church when I was twelve and I was happy as a lark.
My years in high school were a different story. I was involved in volleyball, bowling, and being a gym aide. I began playing volleyball in a church league, but I could never do moves like others. I was afraid I’d fall, my balance was sometimes off, and my muscles would always hurt. I would trip and fall over nothing, very often turning my left ankle (symptoms of MS). My mother would just say I was clumsy and I always thought that was true.
Throughout the next twenty years or so, I’d take life one day at a time. I spent many countless hours in hospitals and doctors’ offices. It was very discouraging when the doctors would say all the tests were negative and it was all in my head. By this time, I had totally given up on the fact that I would ever play volleyball again. All I had left in my life was bowling and playing the organ. Soon thereafter, in the mid 80’s, I lost the ability to handle even the lightest bowling ball. Soon I found myself having to give up bowling. All I had left in my life was being a church organist. I had two beautiful sons which brought me joy and love. I didn’t have any problems for a very long time.
My hands would occasionally hurt. I just thought it was from playing many services on a Sunday or the fact that I typed 200 wpm. My legs began giving me problems and I found it difficult to move my legs across the pedals. I lived my life with bladder leakage and bowel issues (symptoms of MS). In 2004, I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and survived an eight-month gruesome recovery only to realize there was still something wrong. Why did my hands tingle so badly?
In December 2005, after countless tests, MRIs, and a spinal tap, a neurologist finally diagnosed me with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. He said I probably had it for twenty or thirty years and didn’t even know it. This would explain a lot of the issues I’ve had throughout my life.
I knew that soon the frightful day would happen. In July 2011, because of the issues with my hands and legs, I was forced to give up my life passion of being a church organist. It was bittersweet for me. At the same time, I found a new passion – ballroom dancing. Oh how I wish I could ballroom dance just like the dancers on “Dancing with the Stars.” So I made it my new lifetime goal to be able to ballroom dance some day.
My legs began to get worse. I was afraid to take a step because of the fear of falling down (symptom of MS). I began walking with a walker. But I couldn’t understand what was happening to my legs. In June 2013, I was diagnosed with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. This couldn’t be happening to me so soon after the initial diagnosis. But it did. MS didn’t wait for me to be ready.
Today I walk with a walker or sometimes use a wheelchair, have many health issues, and was forced by my health to move to an assisted living facility. Whatever happened to that vibrant woman of years past? Currently there is no medication for the treatment of Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Stem cell therapy is a viable alternative. Having the stem cell therapy would allow me to bring out the vibrant woman who longs to be part of my world. I still hold on to the dream of some day being able to ballroom dance. It is a lifetime goal that I hold dear to my heart. Maybe some day with your help.
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About the fundraiser
Rockford, IL, United States
I am a 62-year-old woman who was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS in 12/2005 and diagnosed with Secondary Progressive MS in 6/2013. Having the stem cell therapy would greatly impact my life for the better. Hopefully you can help my dream become a reality.