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A Home To Heal In

A Home To Heal In

ALOHA everyone! My story started 16 yrs ago, with a surfing accident and injury, that after being ignored, stereotyped and misdiagnosed, led to internal organ damage and a 4 organ transplant of my stomach, pancreas, duodenum and small bowel. That was August, 7 yrs ago, and the day my world turned upside down.If you'd like to know more, I'm starting a blog to share the past and present, as well as how design has inspired my life. Nothing is posted yet, but hopefully in a week or so I'll learn enough to begin and you can visit designtolive.net to read about the dreams and goals that keep me going every day!After bleeding out and flatlining 3 1/2 yrs ago, I was lost... I’d spent 3 months in hospital, finally going home on full IVs for nutrition, hydration and chronic pain control. I’d been in chronic rejection since the beginning and needed a 2nd transplant to save my life. If that wasn't heartbreaking enough, my injury was correctly diagnosed and fixed a year earlier, only to find out it had nothing to do with transplant at all. It could have been done anytime prior and all would have been avoided. Other than my parents and my therapy dog Bella, there wasn't anything in my life that I recognized anymore…their love and unconditional support keeps me fighting!We were mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted and the financial stress was an additional growing weight. Mum had stopped working for 4 yrs, staying here in Pittsburgh through 7 more surgeries... My dad came for the procedures, but had to return home to work in between. I couldn't imagine how we were going to do this again, but I knew I had to keep my mind and spirit strong if I wanted to survive physically. Every day I look for one thing that makes me happy...that fills my heart and gives me strength until tomorrow. I became the biggest fan of HGTV and what was simply an escape at first, quickly became a passion for design I never knew I had. It continued to inspire what I’ve been working towards every day... in hopes of helping my family financially, of having a home to heal in, and once more settled and stable ourselves... creating a “home away from home” to help other transplant patients and their families.That brings me to why I’m reaching out to all of you!... in hopes that sharing my story and dreams will open the door for anyone to help if they wish... as well as show how helping me now will open the door to help others and that open the door for even more! After 2 yrs of hard work we're stuck!My dad moved here to help take care of me 2 1/2 yrs ago... Mum took a job teaching with Pittsburgh Public Schools... and I was inspired by HGTV with the idea of buying an income property to help financially. We were already paying rent every month, why not put it towards owning a place...and by renting out 3 of the spaces, while renovating the 4th for ourselves, we could get help paying the mortgage. It's a great little building we purchased, that I call our “diamond in the rough”, but with previous years of medical and medical related expenses, mum not working then and dad not working now, our goal to be in by last summer has continuously been put on hold. We’ve been staying in one of the rentals while we wait, but my excitement has started to turn into stress... not knowing how close surgery is, unable to settle down and make a home, and knowing that every month we have an empty apt. means a month of wasted space... I feel anxious and helpless knowing what a gift moving in would be. Not only financially, but because the apt. we are in now is the one I’m turning into a furnished unit for other transplant families. I'm starting with this fundrazr to get things going, but for those who would like to donate in exchange for something, or may like to buy a gift for someone else, I'll be putting items up for auction on eBay as well. (I'll post pics of what's available on Pinterest, at pinterest.com/bellaenigma).My goal was to be in by the start of mums school, but with that only 3 weeks away I’m now aiming for her birthday... Sept. 27th! We need to finish the kitchen, the HVAC, the main bath and a 1/2 bath, hardwood floors, carpeting upstairs and a final paint job. The other projects can be done in time, but with these things complete we can at least move in! All fundraising will go towards past and present medical related expenses and debts, but since we’ve been paying for everything with our own personal savings, various income sources, loans and those famous credit cards... it’s all pretty much the same pot now. With the debt from previous years and the ongoing expenses now, a big fundraising event is definitely needed... but I'm hoping this starting goal will at least reimburse us with enough to help finish the best gift, A HOME TO HEAL IN!Thank you for all the love and support, it helps give me strength every day. I hope I can at least return the gift by sharing the joy of all you've become a part of as I update my blog!

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