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Long story short… Most know my health is deteriorating faster than global warming. So, I’m swinging for the fence and giving it my all, to try and find the help I need before it’s too late because I’m not ready to die at 43.
I’ve sat waiting in the government health system since January 2016, only to be told that if I'd had access to private care, I'd been in with a shot at getting better, but in the government health system, there simply isn’t enough resources and too many sick people who are dying waiting – I am now one of them.
WHY HELP ME - amoungst all the many who need help?
I've been asking myself the same question… What is it that I still have to contribute to this world before I get my boarding pass to heaven?
I’m a fighter in that I really don’t believe in giving up. Life has been challenging the last few years. I was the passenger in a car accident which left me in a wheelchair with 2 breaks in my back – in the lumbar and thoracic regions. I was told I’d be a paraplegic for life. I completed my spinal rehab in record time because I needed to return home to nurse my mom who was dying of leukemia.
I held her until the day she died and then took off travelling unaccompanied in a wheelchair. After 11 months, I slowly started to regain feeling and movement in my legs. I went looking for a neuro-physio who was willing to give it another shot and help me get back up on my feet. Four months later, I was walking again.
I set out to travel again – this time walking, only to end up 6 weeks later in Intensive Care in Johannesburg and told I have a kidney disease, a prolapsed mitril valve in my heart and peptic ulcers. The physician said the best I’d be able to do was manage the symptoms and he prescribed meds and I kept traveling.
WHY ALL THE TRAVELING?
I didn’t have massive funds available. I just no longer had a place to call home and every time I got a great job, I’d lose it because within a month I’d end up back in hospital, where I kept falling through the cracks in the system, waiting for months between tests.
I come from a very small family and those who are still alive, are simply unable to assist financially. If it wasn't for the grace of God expressed through the kindness of those around me, I would’ve died a long time ago from a broken heart.
Because when life gets this hard for this long and it wasn’t a matter of choice but circumstance and you’ve tried your best, but it still ends up not being enough, the day finally comes when you are all out.
SO, AM I A LIFE WORTH SAVING?
I’m a writer, who started a self-publishing company to sustain myself while nursing mom. I studied to work with traumatized children through UNISA and owned a Bed and Breakfast until my divorce eight years ago.
I worked for several charities over the years because I believe in being part of something bigger than myself, because helping others helped me rise inside and become the best version of myself.
I love encouraging others and watching their dreams come true. I believe in wilderness therapy 100% - it’s incredible the effect it has on young people especially.
Traveling solo helped me learn to stand on my own two feet – which has been an epic journey for me because I got married at 19!
My biggest dream would be to travel and work as a biographer, recording and sharing the stories of those who have something to say but don’t feel they have the ability to write it out effectively.
I’d also love to somehow promote and facilitate a wilderness therapy center in South Africa, perhaps on a farm, especially for those suffering from mental illness or trauma.
I would also absolutely love to mentor up and coming young writers and help fund their dreams, especially those who just need that helping hand up to get started.
WHAT DO I NEED?
FIRST PRIZE would be to find a group of doctors willing to take on my case perhaps as a case study because I’m told they may be interested in figuring out this complex myriad of symptoms.
Secondly, I need to pay for an MRI and certain blood tests – such as testing for porfuria, which would help speed up the process if I could return to the state hospitals with the relevant info they'd wait months for, because I’m literally running out of time to wait many more months in the state system for help, which may or may not come – depending on if the machines are working, how many others are waiting for the same help, whether I find a compassionate doctor with the time and willingness to help another sick person who’s trying to stay out of the end zone and become a productive member of society again.
With the right meds and medical help, I am more able to stay healthier for longer periods, which would further help me hold down a job and sustain myself while I get better.
There is a scripture that says if we ask, we will find somewhere a door will open and therein lies my hope as I write this.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
- Conrad Classen
- Site Manager
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