Please visit www.helpelizabeth.net, scroll down, and make a contribution if you are able, no amount is too small- even $4 would greatly be appreciated. Thank you!!!
***Press release follows, June 16, 2001
ONLINE COMMUNITY FORMS TO HELP
FLORIDA WOMAN BEAT THE CLOCK
Contact: Dr. Corey Cameron, firstname.lastname@example.org
or Helen Metaxas Raser
SICK WOMAN’S LAST CHANCE RELIES ON FINDING
CHARTER FLIGHT TO OUT-OF-STATE DOC
Internet “Family” of Chronically Ill Patients Races to Save One of Their Own
BOCA RATON, FL (June 15, 2011) – Forty-year-old Elizabeth Chalker was a hardworking psychologist and athlete when she became debilitated eight years ago. For the past four years, bed-bound and ravaged by pain, Chalker’s been alone, with only her dog, Symon, at her side. Misdiagnosed, then denied treatment by numerous local doctors, Chalker wrote a book from bed on how “raw faith” has kept her Hanging On by the Scratch Marks My Nails Left Behind.
Symon is gone, but Chalker is no longer alone, and her chance for recovery relies on the help of an unknown pilot and a group of people she’s never met. A Facebook page of over 150 people – most strangers and severely ill themselves or caretakers of those who are – are working night-and-day to get Chalker on a private jet by Sunday, June 19, to see a specialist in Maryland.
Chalker suffers from late-stage Lyme disease, multiple co-infections, endometriosis (resulting in nine surgeries), and other complications. Though her conditions are treatable, the years of misdiagnoses have left her in such a frail condition that no area doctors are willing to treat her.
“We tried every doctor here,” says Corey Cameron, a Boca Raton, Fla., chiropractor who says Chalker “is like a daughter” to her. “Close to a hundred doctors. They all said, ‘She needs the specialists who can treat her properly, her case is too complicated.’”
It was Cameron who found Dr. Shoemaker in Pocomoke, Maryland, and will make the complicated trip, requiring – among other things – a cooler of ice packs to keep Chalker’s temperature stable. “Dr. Shoemaker has reviewed her case extensively and believes he can help save her life. Because of Florida laws, he cannot come here. We have to get Elizabeth to him.”
The “Save Elizabeth” campaign has spawned a youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbvQBZ9KUt0), website (http://www.helpelizabeth.net/), and raised $10,000 but organizers say either a pilot who can donate their time, or $15,000 must be raised in the next four days.
Writer Alice Walker, who once endured Lyme, herself, responded to Chalker’s friends by sending a “Save Elizabeth” message on Twitter. The volunteers hope this will help raise funds for the charter jet.
The volunteers are often hampered in their efforts by their own struggles. Shelly Schrolucke of Orlando, Fla., had two planned radio appearances to speak about Chalker’s plight. “I ended up in the hospital with an infected central line in my chest,” she says. “I was septic and in no shape to talk to anyone.” Now, however, Schrolucke is emailing everyone she knows, pleading for her friend’s life.
Helen Raser, also of Orlando, visits Chalker as often as she can, but is limited by providing full-time care to her daughter, Teri, also a Lyme sufferer. “I can’t begin to fathom [Chalker’s] terror – being alone in horrific pain and suffering [around the clock] except for a couple visits a week from [Cameron],” Raser says, who has been in tears many times at the generosity of those who are also ill and strapped going to great lengths to raise funds. “Especially because she can’t sleep more than a few minutes or an hour at a time. I’m so grateful to everyone who has made Elizabeth know how much she is loved.”
A Special Needs Trust Fund has been established for contributions. Contributions can be made online via PayPal at http://www.helpelizabeth.net/ or by checks, payable to ‘Elizabeth L. Chalker S.N.T.’ and mailed to Elizabeth Chalker c/o DR. Corey Cameron, 6292 La Costa Dr., Suite D, Boca Raton, Florida 33433.
Cameron believes it fitting that this group of ill strangers has come together to help her friend. “Despite all of the impossibilities of her health, the unspeakable pain, and her circumstances, Elizabeth remains the most loving, giving, caring, funny, and remarkable person I have ever known. If there was ever anyone who would pay forward this sort of help, and make a difference in this world, it is Elizabeth.”
PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT article by Laura Zeller: