This email appeared in my inbox a couple of weeks ago and since it is addressed to everyone, I think this is the right place to forward it:
Thank you. With the help that everyone has given us, we've managed to stay afloat. Though the total contributions only paid for a few medical bills, they were giant ones looming over us. It was just enough that bills could be paid on time (mostly) and we didn't have to spend as much time worrying about our finances - the reduced stress was certainly a factor in my own health and healing. Even if someone only contributed a dollar, it was still a bridge helping us over the worst chasm we've ever faced. I, and many of my doctors, can't believe I made it across without losing a limb, quite literally.You all made this possible for Lori and those closest to her. Thank you all for your generous support and spreading the love with the bracelets. I owe you all a big hug.
Yet here I am - now finally reaching that point where I can start slowly getting off some heavy-hitting medications I no longer need, and am becoming therapeutic on the ones that will be my lifelong companions to ward off these sort of disasters. I've got my foot! The toe took a minor hit, but it'll just serve as proof to this crazy story. It's even been recorded as a medical case study because it was so unusual and the results so extraordinary. On that note, if anyone needs a Rhuematologist, for fuck's sake go to Sue Romanick in Bellevue. She's the only doctor (of an excellent team of some of the best in the state) that could find a clever way to get through this and she's bloody brilliant. I have been a very lucky girl, in my assignment of doctors and my fortune in friends.
While things are not done for us, I believe we are through the worst. I had to stop working entirely, but am getting some disability benefits while I'm stabilizing and, hopefully, I can make use of this time to return to school in the fall. Ben got a surprise bonus that allowed us to pay off a good chunk of all that debt, and I think it signaled for us that we're ready to take it on our own. At this point, it would feel wrong to take further aid.
If anyone should want to help further, or if Jules would like to continue her chic line of charity jewelry, I would direct those good intentions towards the Lupus Foundation of America (http://www.lupus.org/), because Lupus is unbelievably insane and not nearly as rare as it should be, or to your favorite hospital's charity care for patients without insurance or in dire financial straits (the hospital that has seen me through EVERYTHING was Overlake, and their charity list is: http://www.overlakehospital.
org/foundation.aspx?id=1320). Really, I'm all for charities - especially those that help regular people, and those strongly focused on super-serious scientific medical research.
So, again and again, thank you, thank you!
On the note of supporting Lupus research, another friend of mine is currently in a similar battle. She published a book, and the proceeds go to her bills and to the Lupus Foundation! It is a good read and a good cause.