Help support Tristyn Klemens battle against Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Tristyn is Matthew Kent's niece - she is battling against Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and is trying ro raise enough for stem cell treatment before her 19th birthday on 6/2/17

You can help her here:

The Story

March 15, 2016 marks the day that I was finally given a name to the disease that had ravaged my body for years. First it was found in my hands and then Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis would become everything but just another disease. This disease completely turned my life from an active lifestyle enjoying soccer and other sports to bedridden and barely able to move from the daily struggles. This resulted in me missing more than half of my junior year of high school. Initially the doctors had no clue what it was. I was put through multiple rounds of antibiotics and a pool of medications in hopes of knocking it out. I was also sent to nearly every specialist at the University of Michigan Children’s Hospital. Finally, as a result of the hard work and determination of my doctors, my disease was finally diagnosed.

The days and months that followed my diagnosis entailed taking up to 5-7 medications daily along with weekly injections of Methotrexate, a drug commonly used for chemotherapy at high doses, and infusions of a drug called Remicade every 8 weeks in hopes of slowing down the arthritis from destroying my body. Many days have ended in tears hoping and praying for relief that never seems possible. I now have arthritis in nearly every joint in my body including my spine, hips, knees, hands, feet, and knees. Within the last 3-month period I have significant changes and progression in the disease. Due to fusion of my spine, I am no longer able to reach past my knees which was once an easy task. My knees can no longer go back to a baseline straight and my hands have bony overgrowths. Daily tasks seem to slowly become an adventure of their own. Opening doors, loosening caps, and walking are all becoming increasingly difficult. Each time I go into the doctor they inform me of the continuing damage and continue to offer different treatments in hopes that we will be able to tame the disease. I also have a disease arising called scleroderma which can cause hardening of the connective tissues throughout my body. Without intervention, there will only be progression of the disease, which could eventually end in being confined to a wheel chair.

I have been blessed to have the opportunity to receive Stem Cell Treatment in California. The stem cell treatment takes my own stem cells from my body and repairs the damage caused by the rheumatoid arthritis. It has been used in other diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes with great successes. There is a very good chance that this treatment could send me into remission and stop or slow down the progression of the disease. This could be the intervention that we have been waiting for!

My insurance does not cover the treatment and included in the cost of the treatment is hotel stay and travel expenses. Any donation will be so greatly appreciated. I am hopeful that this treatment will change my life for the better and allow me to be a normal 18 year old once again.