“No one has ever become poor from giving.” – Anne Frank
Although Handmadeology exists primarily for the purpose of educating Etsy sellers, we are also a community of like-minded people…real people who have stories & struggles & families & needs. I have never done anything like this before, but I want to do something big for a very deserving family in need & I would love it if you would help me out! My wife just held a photo-shoot fundraiser for the family I’m about to introduce you to & this effort is a continuation of what she started. I know we can pull together & make this an amazing blessing to this family!
Meet the Snyder family.
Dan & Monica Snyder are an awesome couple who celebrated their 10th anniversary this year & they have two beautiful daughters, Delaney (8) & Danica (almost 4). Danica has faced serious medical conditions in her 4 short years, including TWO brain/spinal surgeries before age 3. That sounds like enough to push a lot of parents over the edge, but it’s really just the tip of the iceberg. The Snyders have faced unbelievable medical, financial & career struggles over the course of their relationship…here’s a summary of just the past 4 years so you can get an idea of where they stand today.
Danica at age 2 1/2
March 2007 – Dan, Monica & 3-year-old Delaney lived in Maryland & Monica became pregnant with little Danica & another baby… twins! She lost one of the twins she was carrying in a miscarriage about a week after finding out. She was told she was no longer pregnant. Several days later, doctors found Danica’s heartbeat. Monica had a large sub chorionic bleed threatening the baby until it finally dissolved around week 17. She was on bed rest during this time & her employer was less than understanding. After years of a successful career with this company, Monica was let go due to being a “liability”. The rest of her pregnancy was brutal & it didn’t let up until delivery.
Late June 2007 – Monica’s kidney became blocked. Over the next three months, she underwent 4 failed stent procedures and fought for both her & Danica’s lives. Dan & Monica had to send Delaney to Ohio to live with grandparents and begin Kindergarten. As a parent, that alone would be devastating, not to mention all the health problems taking place.
October 3, 2007 – Danica was born in a very traumatic C-section. She was 32 weeks. She was in the NICU for several weeks & Monica also had a long & difficult recovery due to surgery complications.
March 2008 – The Snyder family moved to Ohio to be closer to family.
February 2009 – Monica was plagued by many health issues so she had a laparoscopy for endometriosis.
April 2009 – Danica began to exhibit strange symptoms. Dan & Monica began taking her to doctors, therapists and physiatrists. In September, an MRI showed Danica’s severe Chiari malformation.
November 2009 – 2-year old Danica had her first brain decompression at University Hospital in Cleveland (MAJOR SURGERY).
Spring 2010 – Danica’s symptoms returned and were even worse. Dan & Monica sought many opinions and during a 3DCT in Cincinnati, it was discovered that Danica also had an atlas assimilation and needed fusion (another brain/spinal surgery).
August 2010 – Monica had a full hysterectomy and was told they could not get all the endometriosis on her bowels. She would have to wait but she needed more surgery.
October 5, 2010 – Danica had a second decompression and cervical spinal fusion (Another MAJOR surgery) at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. She was put in a Minerva brace and wheelchair. The Snyders were told her recovery would take about a year.
March 2011 – Monica had bowel surgery at Cleveland Clinic.
On top of everything else, Monica suffers from Fybromyalgia & literally lives each day in pain. She is traveling to Maryland in October for three days of visits & testing to try & get help with her chronic pain. There have been signs along the way that she may have a version of what Danica has & that there could be a genetic connection. This all means…more doctor bills.
Dan has suffered with kidney stones this year and has had two surgeries…neither of which have totally eliminated his pain.
Danica continues therapy weekly and will have another visit to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in October. She is still in a neck brace nearly a year after her second surgery. Can you imagine a 4-year-old in a neck brace for a YEAR? The first several months, the brace was from chin to waist…I can’t imagine.
Most recently, Dan & Monica had to give up their home & move in with Monica’s parents due to lack of funds. Nearly every “extra” penny they have goes to the thousands and thousands of dollars of medical bills they have accumulated over the past four years. Birthday gifts & Christmas gifts are considered a luxury at this point.
The most incredible thing that stands out to me is their positive attitudes. They are always encouraging others & despite their hardships, are selfless & thoughtful when I think a lot of people would just become bitter. You can read more about their journey on their blog – Team Danica.
The amount of emotional, physical & financial stress this family is under is unreal, but there’s something we can do to help.
There are two easy options to choose from if you’d like to join me in helping the Snyders. I hope you do!
1. Make a donation to the family on the Chip-In page my wife has set up for them. Our goal is $3000 & we have a long way to go. No gift is too small. You can give between now & October 3, 2011.
2. Donate an item or service to the online auction our friend Alivia, of Simply Give is holding for them. The auction is being held this Thursday, September 22nd. Send Alivia an email by Wednesday, September 21 at 11:59pm EST to get in on this awesome opportunity. ( Alivia.firstname.lastname@example.org )
Thank you for your time in reading this…I know this was a long post…but I am really hoping we can all pull together and make a huge difference in the lives of this incredible family.