My name is Stephanie Dudley. I've been with my husband, Joe, for almost seven years now, and we've been married since 2008. He's the love of my life, and I wouldn't trade him for anything in the universe. Joe became ill a year before we got married. We didn't know it until early last year, but he has a rare condition known as Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, or CVS. It causes him to have cycles of severe pain and nonstop vomiting. The cycles have gotten longer the longer that he has the illness, and it's hurting us so much.
Before he got sick, we had our own little apartment, he was a head bank teller and I was going to college.
Since he's been sick, I've had to drop out of school. He lost his job, and we've moved back in with my parents and grandparents. We love them, but six people in a small ranch style house isn't easy on anyone. We never had a honeymoon. Our honeymoon was spent in the ER at the local hospital. I know it's not important, really, but it's just one more thing that we've lost. We now live on less than $1,400 a month and it's just so hard. We have to pick and choose which medicines to get for the month so we still have money for food and our other bills. We try to help with rent, but we can only give a small amount. I know it's a horirble strain on my family.
We've been through so much, and we're no closer to finding a cure than we were when he was first diagnosed. Joey has spent months in the hospital at a time in some cases. Even when he is home, he can't always sleep in bed with me. He has to sleep on the floor to relieve his pain, or I need to sleep on the recliner in the livingroom to give him room to stretch if he needs to find a more comfortable position. We need a break. We need a reason to smile again. I want to see him happy, and I know that knowing some of our past due bills have been taken care of would be a huge weight lifted off his shoulders. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me.