Health Journey Updates
What a huge week last week was for us! You guys all banded together to give our Donation Matching Drive video over 1200 views (last I checked). We busted through our $1600 goal and raised $2100 in those three days PLUS the $1600 matched on top of that.
Then, the Santa Cruz Sentinel ran that article on Sunday about our story and MORE support came in from friends and strangers alike. All told, over the past week, we went from right around 18,000 in online giving to just over 30,000. That’s not including another 7000ish in offline donations!
Incredible! Thank you all!
Currently, we’re standing at right around $46,000 total that has been donated so far.
That’s half-way, you guys. I can’t believe it. And I wish I could tell each of you, in person, over coffee, in our backyard, that I love you. Because it’s true. Even if you’re one of the amazing people I’ve never met. I love you too. Thank you for letting God use you to bless us.
WHY OUR PLAN IS WHAT IT IS
Right now, I want to bring you all in on the current plan, and the “why” behind it…as there have been some additions and adjustments…but all really good things.
But before we do that, I’d like to give you a fresh understanding of what we feel is the necessity behind what we’re doing. You all saw from the original GoFundMe story that my diagnosis is Psoriatic Arthritis. And to be honest, even though the treatments aren’t working, my symptoms do match that pretty well. I had never had skin Psoriasis before, but there are places on my feet/lower legs that are showing that at the moment. And the specific arthritis pattern matches it well too.
With that, some have suggested that we may want to try other top-notch, well-known medical facilities such as UCSF, UCLA, the Mayo Clinic, etc. And the truth is, I’ve looked at each of these different places in response to these suggestions to see what their philosophy would be and what they would try that Stanford hasn’t already done.
Each of them communicates some variation of the same message. Here’s a quote from the Mayo Clinic that encapsulates it, “No cure for psoriatic arthritis exists, so the focus is on controlling symptoms and preventing damage to your joints. Without treatment, psoriatic arthritis may be disabling.”
They all say that they use the most cutting-edge medications available, and they list the ones that we have been trying over these last two years.
This is why we’re going the way we’re going. First, we cannot settle in the notion that there simply is NO WAY for me to get better. Second, we can’t stay with a treatment plan that simply doesn’t work for my body but that does have a host of other risks involved.
Compare this with one of the letters I’ve received from Switzerland:
“We address the frequently highly severe and complex autoimmune dieseases in a most effective way, sustainably restructure the body, eliminate all causes if possible, and are extremely successful…Our treatment is highly individualized: we do not treat diagnosed conditions – we treat individuals and the causes of their health problems. Depending on the partial causes we identified, the treatment varies. The chemical drugs our patients have usually been described can be reduced step by step and are then often spared completely – however, this process usually takes a few months.”
ANOTHER TOOL IN THE TOOLBELT
In the past couple months, as we’ve been fighting this thing with all we’ve got, we’ve found another potential tool to add to our toolbelt: the Hansa Center in Kansas.
I originally started a conversation with them after seeing that they actually derive their treatment philosophy from that of the Paracelsus Clinic in Switzerland. But—and this is important—they use very different treatment methods. And with how intensely my body is under attack right now, it needs every bit of health-giving, life-giving support it can get. Same philosophy, different method…that is very good.
Another reason I began considering them, back before so many funds were raised, was their significantly lower price tag seemed like it was more in reach than Switzerland’s.
And I wasn’t going to let any lack of funds stop me from fighting for my health and my ability to provide for, protect, and be present with my family. If Jesus gave up his life for my body (Isaiah says that he bore my sickness and carried my infirmity), then I sure won’t let up either.
Now friends, we have a better, more robust plan that—amazingly—doesn’t significantly affect our campaign goal.
We have scheduled a two week treatment time at the Hansa Center in Kansas to begin on August 20th. The cost for treatment here is $9500. So at first glance, it looks like that would add about 10k to what we need. However, I’ve gotten a more individualized quote from the Switzerland Clinic, and it’s about 12k LESS than what we had seen initially.
Lodging at Kansas would be about $2000, BUT the beautiful thing is that we have Southwest flyer miles and so I will be using those to get there! Thank you Jesus for that.
TRAVEL HOPES FOR SWITZERLAND
In all of this health journey, one thing that is very apparent is that sickness is very much in line with what Jesus said about our enemy, the “thief”, in the book of John. He said, “the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy.” And we have seen this sickness try to steal our livelihood, our dreams, a home, our joy. Certainly it’s aim is to kill and destroy the body.
Corrie and I have grown a TON in recent years as we have chosen to view the world as a place where God reigns, and no matter what things look like, he is not about to strip everything away from us.
The temptation can be to think that we are just destined to live with the bare minimum, to just barely get by, to never be able to enjoy…whatever it may be.
For my treatment in Switzerland, our huge desire is for all four of us to be able to go.
We want, for our family, to have the experience be one where we are together, where Daddy is not yet again being stripped away, where the healing happens for ALL OF US. Because this sickness is not just my journey. It’s truthfully just as impactful on each member of our family.
So we want healing that we find to be for all of us.
Obviously, if funds turn out to be such that we have to choose between me going alone or me not going at all, I will certainly go. But we would love the added blessing of our family being in the same country together.
OUR BULLET-POINT TREATMENT PLAN WITH UPDATED COSTS
So here’s the breakdown of treatment costs at the moment:
Kansas: 2 week stay starting August 20th
—Clinic fees: $9500
—Lodging and food: $2000
—Flight: Covered by our saved up Southwest miles!
Switzerland: 3 week treatment starting October 1st
—Clinic fees: $33,000
—Hotel: $2100 to $3000
—Food: I don’t know yet.
—Flights: One very generous man, whom I’ve never met, has offered his frequent flyer miles to cover my flight to Zurich.
—If Corrie and the girls can come: $4200 (IF POSSIBLE)
Our original GoFundMe story listed $55,000 for treatment costs and with this updated breakdown we’re looking at $51,700 if my mental math serves me right. So for that leg of it, we are ALMOST THERE!
THE OTHER GOFUNDME AMOUNT
We also listed $35,000 to help cushion our family for living expenses through December of this year to give us an opportunity to take the needed time to focus on my healing; to build our businesses into reliable, salary-replacing businesses; and to help ensure that we will be in our home that much longer.
To help with this, I am working hard on days when my body is up for it to keep providing for us. Thankfully my most recent SAT class, which ends tomorrow, was my biggest ever! Thanks to Jesus providing students for us, we have not needed to touch any donations for living expenses thus far.
And to partner with YOU ALL, we will continue pursue the work that God has laid before us.
Please pray that upcoming SAT workshops are full and a blessing to each family who attends.
Please pray that he brings growth to my business ONLINE. My next phase of sustainable business is to sell my SAT class online as a digital product, which would allow for scaling as well as minimal physical exertion on my part.
Please pray also that he brings growth to my authoring and podcasting. These are a separate task that he’s given me, but that I hope to bless the world with and to also provide for my family with.
Thank you our dear friends who have chosen to invest in us. Whether it’s been through your giving, your sharing, or even just your care. You are heroes. You make me feel strong.