Jody Belkowski | Bigfoot Cabins

Thank you for visiting my Autoimmune Walk personal fundraising page!

Seventeen years ago, I welcomed two beautiful babies into this world. As many things in life, things didn't go exactly as planned. It was a very rough delivery with the twins being delivered 4 1/2 hours apart from one another. 

A week after the babies were born, I felt lethargic and had a temperature of 105 degrees. I was diagnosed with a severe uterine infection, attributed to the childbirth and length of time between the babies being born. I was admitted into the hospital and administered IV antibiotics.

Whether it was the infection itself or the super strong antibiotics, it threw my immune system into a tailspin which it's never recovered from. Autoimmune diseases can take on many forms. In my case, I have Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). To simplify it, my immune system improperly identifies the platelets in my blood as something that it needs to destroy. My body creates platelets as it should, but then my immune system kills them off. 

Platelets are responsible for blood clotting. A normal platelet count is between 150,000 and 450,000 platelets per microliter of circulating blood. My typical range is between 40,000-60,000, though I have gone as low as 24,000, which is critical level. Symptoms of ITP include excessive bleeding and bruising. It can be life-threatening if the platelet levels get low enough to cause spontaneous internal bleeding,. 

The biggest risk to those who suffer from ITP is bleeding in the brain, which can be fatal. I can't participate in any activities where there is a chance of falling, getting into an accident or hitting my head. For some people this would be no big deal, but I've always been a thrill seeker so this truly limits me from doing many things that I'd like to.

I also have to be very careful just with normal, everyday tasks. If someone else falls off a ladder they'll likely be hurt. If I fall off a ladder, it could be fatal. I even have to worry about things a simple as an airbag going off in a fender bender. 

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about having an autoimmune disease is that there is no cure. Of the treatments that exist that help to elevate platelet levels, there's none that doesn't come along with horrific side effects.  

This is why I want to walk and raise money in the Autoimmune Walk. So many people suffer from Autoimmune diseases, but research in a cure is underfunded. 

I am excited to be supporting AARDA through the Autoimmune Walk.  More than 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases. That's 1 out of every 5 people in the United States!  The Autoimmune Walk is one of AARDA's efforts to bring together families impacted by autoimmune disease to raise much-needed funding and awareness -- because together we can accomplish far more than any of us can on our own.

Please register to walk with me OR make a donation to help me reach my goal!

When we link together, we are stronger! When we link together, a cure is closer!



Funds raised: $160 of $500
40 percent raised

DONATE NOW

Thank you donors
Barb Silvio : $50
Love ya Jody!!
Jody Belkowski : $100

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