For over a decade, Bonnie Oliver has gone from doctor to doctor seeking answers to her worsening physical and neurological symptoms. It has been a long and wearisome road, and her family has had to watch as her health declined to the point where, at only 28 years of age, she can no longer leave her home unaided, and even then for only short periods of time.
Finally, in 2018, they discovered the culprit of her serious health issues: Complex Chiari Malformation, Craniocervical and Atlanto-axial Instability and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome type three.
If you think that’s a mouthful to say, imagine having to live with it. Her brainstem is being compressed by her C2 vertebrae, and she has instability at her c1 and c3 vertebrae. That puts her at risk for dislocations at any time. Not to mention the symptoms she endures because of this that make every day tasks an enormous challenge.
Both Chiari Malformation and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome have no cure, but there is a surgery that can help Bonnie. In order to prevent further nerve damage, and impending paralysis or death, the neurosurgeons will have to remove a portion of her skull and her top vertebrae), and permanently fuse her cervical spine from skull to C3, using titanium hardware and a metal plate attached to her skull.
This surgery will save her life, as well as give her back some of the quality of life she has lost. As Bonnie’s health declined, so did her ability to do the things she loves; working, creating, sewing, painting, hiking, exploring, and spending time with family and friends.
Bonnie is a very talented and giving woman, and it would be a blessing to see her get the chance to share her talents again. The doctors say there is a 50-60% chance that she will regain some of what she has lost (feeling in her legs, hands, better balance, better cognition, less nerve pain, less difficulty eating/swallowing, less weakness, less pain). And gain the chance to return to doing the things she loves.
The surgery is set for the end of March with a long and difficult recovery period afterward. The cost to Bonnie’s family after insurance is a tremendous $110,000, including significant amounts of travel to the specialists who can perform this surgery. Bonnie and her husband don’t have that kind of money sitting on hand.
But you can help make up the difference. And get a free book as a thank you!
With the help of Bonnie’s brother, a good friend of mine, we are putting together an anthology of hope inspiring stories to give to everyone who donates to Bonnie’s GoFundMe. Edit: Submissions are now closed. Thank you so much to everyone who donated! We’re now working on putting the anthology together. I’m still gathering stories for this project, so if you’re interested in donating a story, please check out the official submission call post, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The anthology is titled Impossible Hope, and will have stories of just that — Hope.
For people like Bonnie, hope is a necessity to endure and prevail through the challenges that life puts us through. Indeed, hope is necessary for all of us. And so in honor of Bonnie, we want to offer some of that hope to others. No matter what you’re going through, big or small — or just something to brighten your day — we wish to offer you this anthology of inspiring stories of hope and courage as a thank you for supporting Bonnie.
As soon as the anthology is finished, we will be emailing a free copy of Impossible Hope to everyone who has donated. Then once Bonnie’s surgery is funded, we plan to publish the book and have the proceeds go to funding the Ehlers-Danlos Society for the benefit of those like Bonnie.
Bonnie needs our help, and Impossible Hope is our way of thanking everyone who offers their support. Whether you can only spare a few dollars, or have the resources to give more, any help is appreciated!
And of course, don’t forget sharing and spreading the word is free, and one of the biggest ways you can help us! The only way we can make this a success is to get as many people involved as possible. So tell your friends! share on social media! With your help we can make the hope of funding Bonnie’s surgery a reality!
Thank you for your time and consideration. And if you want to donate or learn more details about Bonnie’s surgery, it’s all on her GoFundMe page.