Friday, March 4, 2011

Fund Helps Teacher Fight for Life

From The Living Church with video-

Three autoimmune diseases threaten the life of Cristy Kessler, and her fight to stay alive has taken her to Istanbul, Turkey, for an experimental treatment involving stem-cell and bone-marrow transplants.

The One of Our Own Fund has helped Kessler, a 39-year-old associate professor of education at the University of Hawaii, raise an initial payment of $22,000 for the pre-transplant therapy she will receive in Turkey. She arrived in Turkey Feb. 26 to begin preparing for the transplant procedure.

Organizers of the fund have also raised an additional $35,000 for debts accumulated in Kessler’s 7-year struggle with scleroderma, vasculitis and ankylosing spondylitis. They’re now trying to raise $55,000 to cover the transplant stage of treatment.

The Rev. Liz Zivanov, rector of St. Clement’s Church, Honolulu, is Kessler’s partner and a cofounder of the fund. She launched a weblog, From Here to Istanbul, to post reports about Kessler’s therapy at Anadolu Medical Center, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Zivanov says the fund has attracted support from as far away as Maryland, New Hampshire and American Samoa.

More here-

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