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Mandiís Mistletoes

Members Recruited
Recruitment Goal: 6
Members Recruited: 5

Join our team and help us support the Rheumatoid arthuritis

Thank you for supporting Arthritis Foundation, Southeast Region-Alabama. Your contribution is greatly appreciated. At the age of 3, I woke up one morning living a parents nightmare. I could barely walk, I couldn't stand up straight, and I walked with a slap foot. I went into my moms bathroom, where she was getting ready and told her I was hurting. Scared, worried, and not knowing what to do she immediately took me to Dr. Ayers and Dr. Jonesí office (whom she had done transcription for) and they were able to look at me and tell her that I had Dermatomyositis and that the eczema that I had been diagnosed with as a infant wasn't actually the diagnosis. They said they needed to send me to Children's for an official diagnosis. They sent me to Children's where they ran blood work, MRI, chest x-rays, electromyography, and tons of other test and were able to tell my parents that I did have dermatomyositis as they had said... and that I needed to have proper treatments as soon as possible otherwise I'd be in a wheelchair by the time I was a teenager. We immediately started IVIG, methotrexate, prednisone, steroids and multiple other drugs. IVIG was given through an IV and took 8 hours for me to get. I did this once a month with home health nurses coming to our home. I gained tons of weight due to the steroids I took. The medicine gave me awful migraines. I had to get yearly eye exams because the medicine that I took made my eyes very easy to get cataracts. After a few years of this my body became immune to the drug and it quit working.... So we then had to find something else. My parents decided to change doctors because Children's was too far and with the economy dropping and my dad being in construction something closer would be best on my family. My parents decided on Dr. Jones. He suggested we try Rituxan. With me being so young it was extremely hard to get my insurance to approve it because of it being a form of chemo. It was also a hard decision for my parents but they trusted God and with a lot of prayers from friends and family my parents decided to go ahead with the treatment. After months of waiting I was approved and started on Rituxan. I started taking Rituxan twice a year once a week for four weeks. Being a form chemo it depresses my immune system so I get sick very easy, get migraines, sometimes I'll lose some hair, I'll get moody, and I get extremely tired due to the medicine. As well as the medicine I also started gymnastics at 4 as a form of therapy. My parents wanted me to be as active as possible. With my skin being a different color than everyone else's I was made fun of growing up. I was bullied for walking funny, having pink skin, not being able to do things others could, and many other things that was thrown at me. I missed out on a lot of experiences because of pain or other set backs. I've missed a lot of school and had tons of headaches trying to get makeup work. But with God, my wonderful family and friends to encourage me I've been able to do a lot of things... I've ran cross country for two years now, I have done gymnastics from the age of 3 to 16 and still tumble on occasions. I did competition gymnastics, I cheered, and I played softball. No it hasn't been easy to do but I've pushed through it. At times I had to work a little harder than other kids my age but we always made it possible. Being a kid that doctors said none of this is possible I'm a strong believer that you CAN do anything you set your mind to. I'm proud to say with the right doctors, medicine, and gods healing hands I've been in remission for almost 10 years now. I was diagnosed about 15 years ago. No it has not always been easy and yes it hurts at times. I do still have some difficulties especially in the mornings or when it's cold. Life can feel defeating and over whelming but it's okay to hurt but it's NOT okay to give up and there is always tomorrow and one day you'll be able to say you made it through. Don't give up God has a purpose for everyone.

Always pray and never give up.
Luke 18:1

Team Members:
Total Raised$100.00  
General Team Donation$0.00  
Mandi Trawick$20.00  
   Zachary Gaff$30.00  
   Andrew Johnson$30.00  
   Abby Mullenix$10.00  
   Sara Nelson$10.00  

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