Do you know a fabulous blogger by the name of Dana LaRue? If not, you’re missing out on a whole lot of awesome.
Dana and I first met while blogging for Weddingbee. Her upbeat, can-do attitude is simply charismatic, and I was so happy to watch her start The Broke-Ass Bride which quickly turned into one of the premier wedding blogs on the ‘net.
Long-time readers may remember that two years ago, J and I went through an extremely difficult period when we lost our first baby just as I entered the second trimester. What made the loss even more bitter was that our insurance company refused to cover the costs of the surgery that I required from the miscarriage because they considered pregnancy a pre-existing condition, leaving us with a $8,000+ hospital bill.
The event now seems to have occurred aeons ago, but I still remember how supportive Dana was of the entire ordeal. She was especially sympathetic because she herself had been through medical insurance hell and back. And while I never got the chance to thank her in person for her advice and support, that gratitude never left my heart.
Now, Dana needs our help.
At age 19, Dana was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Uveitis. Basically, her immune system confuses her eyes for foreign objects and relentlessly attacks them, causing chronic inflammation, visual disturbances and blurriness. It is incurable and will cause blindness if left untreated.
She also has a very rare deep-tissue form of a disease called Granuloma Annulare, causing a different type of inflammation in her foot, for which she had surgery last year. It is so rare that she is unable to find a doctor who knows how to treat it moving forward.
Dana has had 11 surgeries in the past 9 years to control these diseases and their side effects.
And sadly, just last month her left eye came out of remission, she learned the devastating news that she will need a 12th surgery.
Dana’s surgeries and ongoing care (even with health insurance) have left piles of bills and medical debt, and she is now at a point where, without help, she cannot pay for her medical care.
Dana and her husband Hunter (aka The Fresh Hubby) have been encouraged by many to hold a fundraiser, but asking for money outright isn’t their style. As a result, they have launched a FUNraiser called Dishing for Dana:
♥ We’re compiling beloved comfort food recipes and the stories behind them from the most bad-ass bloggers and beyond… available in varying forms, in exchange for donations to my medical care.
♥ There are incentives for varying levels of donation, which you can learn about here.
♥ The recipes, photos and stories will be teased here on our Dishing for Dana blog, and once a donation is processed, a password to access the full recipes will be released to each donor.
♥ $13,000 to cover my current medical bills
♥ $6,032 to cover our health insurance premiums for the remainder of 2011
♥ $2,000 to donate to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association toward helping others with autoimmune disease
For a total minimum of $22,000.
Note that this does not include the costs that will be related to my upcoming surger(ies) and ongoing care, nor for prescriptions or post-surgical supplies such as gauze and tape for my eye patch, or prescribed drugs to aid the healing process and protect from further inflammation and prevent infection, etc.
♥ You can donate any amount you choose, no minimum, no rules. Because every quarter is a quarter more than we had yesterday. It all adds up.
♥ We will donate 10% of all proceeds up to our goal, to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association, so every dollar contributed not only goes toward my medical care, but also toward researching a cure to benefit everyone with autoimmune disease.
♥ Anything raised in excess of the goal will be split 50/50 with the AARDA – our portion of which will be saved in a dedicated, interest-bearing account toward any future surgeries and ongoing medical care.
If you are able and willing to help by donating a recipe, $$$, or even your talents, please visit Dishing for Dana for more information!
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Your support and generosity are greatly appreciated!
Jenny, THANK YOU SO MUCH. You have always been so kind to me, and I love having you in my life, and following along with yours. I remember your loss very clearly and am still enraged when I remember what you went through with the insurance companies. It means so much that you would open your blog and community to my cause. I cherish you more than you’ll ever know! xoxoxo Dana
Useful and interesting information…