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FTF Blog — Survivor Stories

Survivor Story: Karlee Harris

Posted by Pete Visintin on

Survivor Story: Karlee Harris

Written & Contributed  by Amanda Harris   Karlee was diagnosed with Turner’s Syndrome in October 2014.  From that moment on there were many tests and numerous doctor visits.    She has a bicuspid aortic valve and is tiny for her age.     December 1st, 2015 was the beginning of our nightmare...Karlee threw up massive amounts of blood.       We ended up in the ER 2 days in a row and stayed at the hospital for 2 weeks.  She had a lot of scans, X-rays, ultrasounds, etc to figure out what was going on.    In the end, Karlee was...

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Survivor Story: Rhonda Messerly

Posted by Pete Visintin on

Survivor Story: Rhonda Messerly

    Written & Submitted  By Tonya (Messerly) Edgerton   My mother, Rhonda Messerly, has had a rough 4 years with her health.  It started when she came to visit me in California for the birth of my 1st born.    She ended up being admitted in the hospital for a kidney infection.  She is stilling trying to pay off that hospitalization.  And the hospitals are more expensive in California then Illinois.    When she was in the hospital they told her she had gall stones as well.  Now fast forward 2 years later...they finally had to remove her gallbladder.    ...

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Survivor Story: Harper Couch

Posted by Pete Visintin on

Survivor Story: Harper Couch

Contributed by Lindsay Hill   Harper Layke Couch was born March 20, 2017 alongside her twin brother Cruz to Macee and Craig Couch.  In late May 2017 Harper wasn't herself and seemed to have a bad case of infant reflux.    After the doctor examined her and took her blood he immediately sent them to Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin, Texas. There it was confirmed, on June 2017 (at just over 2 months old) she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia with the MLL gene.    Her prognosis was 10% survival rate upon admission.  Her tiny body will ultimately go through 6 rounds...

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Survivor Story: Debi Dyment

Posted by Pete Visintin on

Survivor Story: Debi Dyment

Written & Contributed  by Laura Helmkamp   My mom, Debi, was involved in a motorcycle accident in May.  She was flown to SLUH hospital in St. Louis, and while there she underwent several surgeries on her spine, neck, face and skull.    We were also told from the beginning, there was a good chance she would be paralyzed.  Once finished with all of the surgeries it was confirmed.  She couldn't feel anything from the chest down.    After leaving St. Louis she was at a nursing/ rehabilitation facility in Auburn, IL.  While there she developed an infection which escalated and...

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Survivor Story: Susan Hettinger

Posted by Pete Visintin on

Survivor Story: Susan Hettinger

Written & Contributed  by Jamie Herendeen   Susan Hettinger is a 73 year old mother, grandmother, and great grandmother from Livingston IL.  She was married to Ronald Hettinger who passed away in 2001.    They met in the military, were married and had four children, seven grand children, and three great grand children.    She previously worked in child care until she was forced to retire due to her muscular dystrophy.  She has struggled with MD for many years but has always fought hard to remain independent.     She did so until June 2017 when she started having stroke like symptoms....

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