Our needs are growing again right now because of increased insurance costs and upcoming medical treatments and transitions. Andy now has disability income and we are doing better. Donations have almost but all dried up mostly because of the economy and so many needs out there. Those that have given us some of the things that we need to survive, we are very thankful to those that have given or that continue to give. Here are a few of our needs that will be changing as they are filled or added as they come up:
Andy's Treatment/Alternative Therapy - Frankly, Andy has not been doing well. Doctors at the NIH believe that he has something else besides NeuroBehcet's going on that doesn't fit the diagnosis. Whatever it is is serious. We have been just trying to cover symptomatic and palliative care needs. But this is like giving a plant water without sunlight. We are getting ready to throw down the gauntlet and go after this, disease, this whatever it is that is quickly taking Andy away from us. What we need, we need several people to pull together and do fundraisers as a race for help for Andy. We are working on getting into a good program at New York Presbyterian Hospital to start with. We have some insurance to start with but are seriously lacking in funds to cover all the costs. We are still $100k+ in the red from the scoliosis surgery last August 2011 and also need to make up ground for that. Now, Andy is dead set against being "entitled" to this effort or any outside funding for that matter. He wishes it to be a gift from the heart that people feel right about and give freely from their hearts. We have to spread the word about his "Be Strong. Take Heart" campaign to not only help his cause but inspire and help the causes of many others. There are many people in need and many people suffering out there. Please don't even feel the least guilt if you can't give financially. There are several things needed as far as people coming together to run strong fundraisers. This is serious time folks, the fight isn't over but Andy is suffering every day that we wait. Those willing to step up and help please contact us and we will try to connect those together that can get this done. We have logos and several great ideas that can help you get started and organized.
Scoliosis Surgery - Andy has been completed his scoliosis surgery by Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei at the Hospital for Special Surgeries in New York City. The surgeon believes that the surgery so far has been a success in not only stopping the scoliosis progression but also potentially saving his life by rebuilding a vertebrae that was about to collapse. There is still rehabilitation that needs to be complete but this big hurdle is mostly complete. We have an extensive examination in Jan 2013 in NYC that will determine the overall healing course and success of the surgery. This will be an ongoing treatment because of some unforeseen problems that arose after the surgery. Please keep this on your ongoing needs for the time being.
Epilepsy Treatment - Andy has developed medicinally intractable epilepsy since the scoliosis surgery. He will start treatment at a specialty epilepsy treatment center in New York starting in January 2013. The treatment center is NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center Comprehensive Epilepsy Treatment Center. This is a crucial treatment center that has become the forefront of Andy's treatment due to daily seizures for over one year now that cannot be controlled with medicine. This will be an enormous expense but is considered necessary to go to one of the best treatment centers available due to the highly complex nature of Andy's disease and the manner in which the seizures are developing and spreading throughout Andy's brain. Any help with flights, lodging and general expenses back and forth to New York City on a regular basis is greatly needed.
Babysitters, Meals and House Cleaning - To keep sanity, Mary still needs people willing to pitch in and help with the kids during the day. As my health has declined, my dependance on her has grown. She has to take care of the kids and me full-time. My good days are few and far between to where I can even be left alone with the kids for just an hour or so. My health is so unpredictable, I can be ok one minute and a few minutes later be clamoring about for a chair or bed.
Donations - There is never enough to cover our expenses each month. We now live with Mary's parents in Beckley, West Virginia because we couldn't afford to pay rental costs and the cost of living in Atlanta. We currently live with Mary's parents and would like to eventually relieve them of the constant financial burden and have our own little apartment again. If you know any millionaires then please pass this site to them for donations. We don't want to be rich by any means. We just would like some financial stability through all of the hardship that we are dealing with. We used up all savings and retirement funds just to get back to zero. We were debt free for about 2 minutes at one point after selling the house but that didn't last very long. We would like to stay out of debt. It has always been out motto to live within our means and not borrow for things today that we have to pay for many years to come. Unfortunately we have to ask just to cover the basics because alone we cannot get to zero. Disability does not pay an encouraging amount to stay on it. The second I ever get well I am working!! If we receive more than we need please know that we are going to use it to help others that need help but do not have a voice. Please don't be upset with that but we just see so much of God's hand moving through others and when we have the ability to help those in need we do. They are all around us and all around you. We are now trying to start our own pooled medical trust to benefit not only our needs but those with similar needs. For right now, any donations should go to Andy directly at 207 Granville Ave, Beckley, WV 25801. Any large donations should be cleared with us first. Click on Contact or email me directly before making any substantial donations. For tax deductable medically related donations, please talk with Helping Hands Ministry at (706) 754-6884 and refer to the Andy Barwick Medical Project. You can also donate via their website at http://www.hhmin.org and look for the Andy Barwick Medical Project specifically to donate. This is a pooled Medical Trust so any funds you wish to attribute to Andy's cause must be mentioned in your donation.
Serenbe Camp 2013 - The girls love Serenbe and we do as well. Camp Serenbe is very special to the girls and we are trying to save money to get the girls to camp this summer. It is a special place for them that gives them one week of normalcy and nature. Amy and Keith Newhook have always so graciously given completely for this week of fun and normalcy. Let us know if you are interested in contributing.
Christmas 2012 - Christmas was such a joy for my children and I want to send a special thank you to those that so generously gave to my children for their Christmas. I want to send a special thank you to my long-distance family in NewFoundLand for your continued generosity to my family. Everything was just perfect!