Adventures in (Post) Gradland

Thoughts on life after the PhD

Vanessa’s Story

There’s a new link in my blogroll that I encourage you to check out–Help Vanessa Get Well. This is not some impersonal sob story that might have become a viral email a few years back. This is about Vanessa Garber, who I have had the pleasure of meeting through close friends and shared many laughs with at “Avenue Q”. What’s happening to Vanessa is horrible, and what’s more horrible is that things may get worse because of a lack of money.

You can read the details in her sister Natasha’s beautifully written posting, but suffice it to say that Vanessa is a smart, witty, energetic and passionate woman who in the past three years has seen her health deteriorate rapidly due to a rare disease called CREST syndrome, which causing hardening of the skin and joints, among many other problems. She has received insurance approval for a stem-cell treatment that may prove life-saving, but hers and her family’s savings are depleted and she can barely afford to pay for rent or food during the several months of treatment and rehabilitation that the procedure will require. Her sisters are seeking donations–no amount is too small.

I don’t claim to have any real understanding of what Vanessa or her family are going through. All I know is that I’m also in my thirties and love my active, crazy life, and the thought of suddenly not being able to move, eat, or speak is terrifying. The point is that this could happen to any of us. Someday I sincerely hope we all have access to affordable healthcare that not only treats our illnesses but provides us with enough funds to live, but until then we’ll all occasionally need to rely on each other. Thank you for whatever you’re able to give.

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This entry was posted on May 15, 2009 by in Uncategorized and tagged , .
Emerging from the Cocoon

Thoughts on life after the PhD

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