Melissa Young Fundraiser

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Melissa Young of Moorhead has a rare nervous system condition known as Meige Syndrome.  Last July she fell ill for two weeks, slept over 20 hours a day and had a fever.  Roughly two months later she developed intense clenching of her right jaw which left many in the medical field stumped. She currently suffers uncontrollable muscle movements, persistent facial pain, trouble swallowing and a feeling of hopelessness as she seeks treatment for a disease without a cure.  Her condition has put an extreme burden on her family as savings are being depleted and medical bills continue to pile up.  Because there is no cure, treatments and prescriptions are not always covered.  Melissa’s husband Ryan, a local firefighter, has become the sole income earner and caregiver since Melissa is unable to work or apply for disability.  The couple travels to Minneapolis where she has been referred to Specialists for care.  The cause & cure for Meige Syndrome (dystonia) is unknown, but the family remains hopeful that there are treatments out there that will allow Melissa to have a better level of functionality and return to a normal lifestyle.  Melissa & Ryan have three sons, Carter (21), Jackson (19) and Keaton (13).  They are active in the Fargo-Moorhead community.

Money raised will be used to help pay medical bills, prescriptions and travel/lodging to Minneapolis.  Donate here and Lend A Hand Up will boost your gift by 20%.  Cash/Checks should be made payable directly to Melissa Young and can be mailed to Gate City, 500 2nd Ave N, Fargo, ND 58102.  Reach out to the champion of this fundraiser, Jodell, at [email protected] for other ways you can help.

 

  • a:3:{s:4:"date";s:10:"09-21-2022";s:5:"title";s:14:"Mojo from Mayo";s:7:"details";s:361:"Melissa will receive her 3rd treatment at Mayo today, and she is already noticing change/improvement in her jaw. The plan is to complete 6-12 treatments. At this point we are not sure when she will be back home -- possibly sometime next week. After that, she will probably have a few out patient treatments that will require a few more trips to Rochester. ";}

    Mojo from Mayo

    09-21-2022

    Melissa will receive her 3rd treatment at Mayo today, and she is already noticing change/improvement in her jaw. The plan is to complete 6-12 treatments. At this point we are not sure when she will be back home — possibly sometime next week. After that, she will probably have a few out patient treatments that will require a few more trips to Rochester.

  • a:3:{s:4:"date";s:10:"09/15/2022";s:5:"title";s:19:"Melissa is at Mayo!";s:7:"details";s:1181:"Melissa was admitted to the Mayo Hospital in Rochester, MN, Wednesday. Although her next appointment is the end of October, when a bed opens up they call the next in line on the waiting list and she had 24 hours to get there to claim that spot. The phone call and quick turn around are overwhelming, but not surprisingly, Melissa was all over that in hopes that she can get recommended treatments started ASAP! Ryan and she stayed overnight in St. Cloud on Tuesday night and drove the rest of the way Wednesday morning. Ryan came back home as they are not sure how long Melissa will be in the hospital. They will be trying a therapy that will be delivered under anesthesia. The electric currents intentionally trigger a brief seizure to retrain her brain to send the right signals to the right places. This therapy usually requires 6-12 treatments, so this will mean multiple trips to Mayo Clinic for a minimum of 3 day stays. Melissa said the pending treatment is scary, but she seems to learn best by being thrown into the deep end anyway. 😉 Please continue to pray for positive results. Melissa and family are LONG overdue for some good news regarding her condition!";}

    Melissa is at Mayo!

    09/15/2022

    Melissa was admitted to the Mayo Hospital in Rochester, MN, Wednesday. Although her next appointment is the end of October, when a bed opens up they call the next in line on the waiting list and she had 24 hours to get there to claim that spot. The phone call and quick turn around are overwhelming, but not surprisingly, Melissa was all over that in hopes that she can get recommended treatments started ASAP! Ryan and she stayed overnight in St. Cloud on Tuesday night and drove the rest of the way Wednesday morning. Ryan came back home as they are not sure how long Melissa will be in the hospital.

    They will be trying a therapy that will be delivered under anesthesia. The electric currents intentionally trigger a brief seizure to retrain her brain to send the right signals to the right places. This therapy usually requires 6-12 treatments, so this will mean multiple trips to Mayo Clinic for a minimum of 3 day stays.

    Melissa said the pending treatment is scary, but she seems to learn best by being thrown into the deep end anyway. 😉

    Please continue to pray for positive results. Melissa and family are LONG overdue for some good news regarding her condition!

  • a:3:{s:4:"date";s:10:"09/08/2022";s:5:"title";s:12:"Mayo - Day 1";s:7:"details";s:556:"Day 2 report from Melissa: Lots of tests and consultations today. They have mentioned many possible diagnoses, but nothing definite and nothing ruled out at this point. My neurologist wants me back on October 28th, once the Botox has left my system. They will then perform some nerve and movement testing. I will also meet with a headache specialist at that time. Still lots of unknowns. At this point we will continue current meds until my October 28th appointment. We should have more information at that time to make determinations for next steps.";}

    Mayo - Day 1

    09/08/2022

    Day 2 report from Melissa:

    Lots of tests and consultations today. They have mentioned many possible diagnoses, but nothing definite and nothing ruled out at this point.

    My neurologist wants me back on October 28th, once the Botox has left my system. They will then perform some nerve and movement testing. I will also meet with a headache specialist at that time. Still lots of unknowns. At this point we will continue current meds until my October 28th appointment. We should have more information at that time to make determinations for next steps.

  • a:3:{s:4:"date";s:10:"09/07/2022";s:5:"title";s:12:"Mayo - Day 1";s:7:"details";s:1008:"Day 1 report from Melissa: My first appointment today was a consult with the Neurologist (his zipper was down the entire time :-)). He said I definitely have a neurological disorder, but he is not sure if there is enough eye movement to diagnose my condition as Meige Syndrome. I reminded him I am taking medication and having Botox treatments to control the movement. He wants to do more testing in 6 weeks. We will come back on October 28th to do an EEG/EMG test to learn more about the movements and see a headache specialist. I also met with a Speech Pathologist today. They checked to make sure my swallowing, etc. was functioning ok -- all are good. Tomorrow I will meet with Pain Management to review the meds I am currently taking for controlling the pain and see if there is anything I should consider doing differently. All in all, a busy but productive day. I am in good hands. Thank you to everyone for thinking of Ryan, me and the kids as we persist to find a solution. Love you all!";}

    Mayo - Day 1

    09/07/2022

    Day 1 report from Melissa:

    My first appointment today was a consult with the Neurologist (his zipper was down the entire time :-)). He said I definitely have a neurological disorder, but he is not sure if there is enough eye movement to diagnose my condition as Meige Syndrome. I reminded him I am taking medication and having Botox treatments to control the movement. He wants to do more testing in 6 weeks. We will come back on October 28th to do an EEG/EMG test to learn more about the movements and see a headache specialist.

    I also met with a Speech Pathologist today. They checked to make sure my swallowing, etc. was functioning ok — all are good.

    Tomorrow I will meet with Pain Management to review the meds I am currently taking for controlling the pain and see if there is anything I should consider doing differently.

    All in all, a busy but productive day. I am in good hands. Thank you to everyone for thinking of Ryan, me and the kids as we persist to find a solution. Love you all!

  • a:3:{s:4:"date";s:10:"09/07/2022";s:5:"title";s:16:"Made it to Mayo!";s:7:"details";s:129:"Melissa and Ryan started their Mayo Clinic visits this morning. We will update everyone on this site as their journey progresses.";}

    Made it to Mayo!

    09/07/2022

    Melissa and Ryan started their Mayo Clinic visits this morning. We will update everyone on this site as their journey progresses.

  • a:3:{s:4:"date";s:10:"09/01/2022";s:5:"title";s:16:"A note from Ryan";s:7:"details";s:2911:"Hi everyone, I just wanted to send out an update for Melissa. Her battle continues with this disease. We have been going to doctor after doctor, and she has had very limited relief. But we did finally get her accepted into the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. We have been trying to get her seen at Mayo since last fall. We have had some challenges along the way, but it was always the #1 goal. In July, I was able to get her in with a neurologist in Minneapolis on short notice. We made the trek down to the cities with high hopes of help. We met with Dr. Sethna. One of the first things he said to us was that he would not be able to help. He said we needed to get to Mayo. This of course is what we have been told by numerous doctors. There was something that was creating a barrier in getting into Mayo, but we just did not know what it was. He examined Melissa, and talked to us for almost two hours. He was an amazing individual. He believed that a diagnosis from a doctor early on in this battle had inappropriately diagnosed Melissa, and that Mayo was seeing that diagnosis and rejecting her because of it. He told us he was going to type up a letter to send to Mayo, along with Melissa’s current doctors. A few days later, we received a copy of his letter. The letter was very detailed, with his diagnosis, and a lengthy explanation of everything. Melissa was very emotional reading it. It really felt like he got it, and wanted to help. Fast forward a month or so, and a letter from Mayo showed up in the mail. She was accepted at Mayo, and the process was starting. She was scheduled for October 13th. After contacting Mayo and getting the process started, she was told to call every day to see if there were any cancellations. They even said to call multiple times a day, because they were very confident she could get her appointment bumped up. Melissa began the daily task of calling. Low and behold, after a few weeks of calling, they had a cancellation. She was moved up to September 7th. So, we are making preparations to head down to Rochester next week. At this time, we don’t know how long we will be there, but the common message we hear, is that it is truly run like a well oiled machine. We wanted to reach out again to all of you to say thank you. I don’t know where we would be without your love, prayers, and generosity. It has been a long, exhausting and expensive battle. But thanks to all of you, we are still going. With that being said, we are going to shut down the GoFundMe. We are transitioning our support efforts for Melissa and family to LendAHandUp.org, an organization affiliated with the Dakota medical foundation. LendAHandUp provides matching funds and 100% of donated funds go directly to the family. Please feel free to follow Melissa’s story at LendAHandUp.org. We hope to finally be able to post some positive news very soon. Thank you all, Ryan";}

    A note from Ryan

    09/01/2022

    Hi everyone, I just wanted to send out an update for Melissa. Her battle continues with this disease. We have been going to doctor after doctor, and she has had very limited relief. But we did finally get her accepted into the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

    We have been trying to get her seen at Mayo since last fall. We have had some challenges along the way, but it was always the #1 goal. In July, I was able to get her in with a neurologist in Minneapolis on short notice. We made the trek down to the cities with high hopes of help. We met with Dr. Sethna. One of the first things he said to us was that he would not be able to help. He said we needed to get to Mayo. This of course is what we have been told by numerous doctors. There was something that was creating a barrier in getting into Mayo, but we just did not know what it was. He examined Melissa, and talked to us for almost two hours. He was an amazing individual. He believed that a diagnosis from a doctor early on in this battle had inappropriately diagnosed Melissa, and that Mayo was seeing that diagnosis and rejecting her because of it. He told us he was going to type up a letter to send to Mayo, along with Melissa’s current doctors.

    A few days later, we received a copy of his letter. The letter was very detailed, with his diagnosis, and a lengthy explanation of everything. Melissa was very emotional reading it. It really felt like he got it, and wanted to help.

    Fast forward a month or so, and a letter from Mayo showed up in the mail. She was accepted at Mayo, and the process was starting. She was scheduled for October 13th. After contacting Mayo and getting the process started, she was told to call every day to see if there were any cancellations. They even said to call multiple times a day, because they were very confident she could get her appointment bumped up. Melissa began the daily task of calling. Low and behold, after a few weeks of calling, they had a cancellation. She was moved up to September 7th. So, we are making preparations to head down to Rochester next week. At this time, we don’t know how long we will be there, but the common message we hear, is that it is truly run like a well oiled machine.

    We wanted to reach out again to all of you to say thank you. I don’t know where we would be without your love, prayers, and generosity. It has been a long, exhausting and expensive battle. But thanks to all of you, we are still going.

    With that being said, we are going to shut down the GoFundMe. We are transitioning our support efforts for Melissa and family to LendAHandUp.org, an organization affiliated with the Dakota medical foundation. LendAHandUp provides matching funds and 100% of donated funds go directly to the family. Please feel free to follow Melissa’s story at LendAHandUp.org. We hope to finally be able to post some positive news very soon.

    Thank you all,
    Ryan

  • a:3:{s:4:"date";s:10:"08/30/2022";s:5:"title";s:25:"Transition to LendAHandUp";s:7:"details";s:751:"Thank you to those who supported the Young family earlier this year on the GoFundMe site. Although your efforts paid for more than $7000 in medical expenses in pursuit of a solution, Melissa is still battling symptoms with medication that provide only temporary relief. They continue to need support for both medical costs and living expenses incurred due to the loss of Melissa’s income. We decided to transition online contributions from GoFundMe to LendAHandUp.org, an organization affiliated with the Dakota Medical Foundation. LendAHandUp provides matching funds and 100% of donated funds go directly to the family. Please share this site on your social media platforms. Updates will be posted here as well as information about ways to help.";}

    Transition to LendAHandUp

    08/30/2022

    Thank you to those who supported the Young family earlier this year on the GoFundMe site. Although your efforts paid for more than $7000 in medical expenses in pursuit of a solution, Melissa is still battling symptoms with medication that provide only temporary relief. They continue to need support for both medical costs and living expenses incurred due to the loss of Melissa’s income.

    We decided to transition online contributions from GoFundMe to LendAHandUp.org, an organization affiliated with the Dakota Medical Foundation. LendAHandUp provides matching funds and 100% of donated funds go directly to the family. Please share this site on your social media platforms. Updates will be posted here as well as information about ways to help.

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We all have high hopes that Melissa and Ryan will hear great news at Mayo, but this has been a very tough year for their family physically, emotionally and financially; and there is no telling how long it will be before Melissa can return to at least some level of normal lifestyle. Thank you for your continued support.

Spread the Word

Please share Melissa’s story by posting the link from the Melissa’s LendAHandUp page on your social media platforms.

Words of Encouragement

Melissa and Ryan have spent every day the past year researching, seeking medical expertise, and navigating the medical system in an effort to improve Melissa’s condition.  She has good days and bad days, but the emotional toll this has taken on their family is unfathomable.  Texts, emails and handwritten notes of encouragement let them know they are not battling alone.  Please email or text Jodell Teiken ([email protected] or 701-540-8993) if you would like to send a note but do not have their contact information.

Hotel Points

Many hotel chains offer points that can be transferred in situations like this.  If you have points you are willing to transfer to Ryan and Melissa to help offset the costs of overnight stays in Rochester, please connect with Ryan.  If you would like assistance learning how to transfer your points, please contact Kim Case ([email protected] or 701-361-3303).

Gift Cards

Grocery or gas cards can be sent directly to the Young family home.  Please email or text Jodell Teiken ([email protected] or 701-540-8993) if you do not have their home address.

Financial Contributions

The Young’s are fortunate to have medical insurance through Ryan’s employer, but insurance does not cover expenses incurred due to loss of income and the emotional upheaval caused by such a traumatic health condition.  Financial support is needed for expenses associated with medical treatment, but also to help offset living expenses that quickly spiral out of control in a situation like theirs.  100% of funds donated online through the LendAHandUp site go directly to the Young family, AND LendAHandUp contributes a 20% boost to all contributions up to $5000.  For example, a $100 donation becomes $120.  Thank you for any amount you are able to contribute to support the Young family in this time of need.

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