Ari Dennis Ari’s Hope

Hello to any lovely person taking the time to read this, my name is Ari I’m a 24 year old with multiple chronic illnesses and disabilities who loves life and loves helping others find the light to love theirs too. Thank you for visiting and supporting  my journey. Humans need other humans, alone we are rare but together we’re strong.  Although I always prefer to help others, I have no choice but to reach out for help for myself this time.  But in sharing my journey I also hope to raise awareness  as well as encourage others facing similar trials and tribulations . My family and I would be immensely grateful to receive any financial support to aid in being able to have this surgery  which will greatly improve my quality of life so I can continue to keep fighting and fulfilling my purpose of helping others. Life has been anything but easy for me but I’m always grateful for each day good or bad. I strive to  make the most of life while helping others in the process by volunteering as a Crisis Counselor for the Crisis Text Line. I think God had a plan for me in being able to use my pain and scars as someone else’s sign of hope.  My chronic illnesses and disabilities are apart of me and my everyday life however they don’t define me or my identity.  But dealing with them is taxing mentally, physically, and especially financially. 
I was born with classical Ehlers Danlos syndrome a genetic connective tissue disorder that affects collagen causing missing or weak/faulty collagen amongst other things. Collagen is like the cement that holds our bodies together from supporting our joints to lining our vital organs. This can, and in my case does, effect pretty much everything and has progressively destroyed many of my bodies functions over time. I've lost my ability to walk or stand (nerve damage and CRPS from 2 failed open hip surgeries and life threatening episodes of Sepsis contributed to this)  and have been wheelchair bound for many years, I also have mild spina bifida and had neurogenic bladder that led to other life threatening problems and infections causing me to have to undergo an 8 hour surgery for removal of my bladder and construction of an ileal conduit urostomy. I lost my ability to work or fulfill my lifelong dreams of being a special needs teacher or sign language interpreter, lost the lifelong dream of having a baby because of a hysterotomy due to severe endometriosis, and so much more. Despite all of this God has shown me the things I've gained in the place of what I've lost. I have many other chronic illnesses some that have stemmed from my genetic condition and others with unknown cause. I have autonomic dysfunction which means my body doesn't regulate automatic functions it should like blood pressure, heart rate, and general function of your nervous system. At 11 I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis (paralysis of the stomach) after having had GI problems and vomiting since birth. We tried any and every treatment option possible which there aren't many of but unfortunately nothing helped and after having a failed GJ feeding tube, severe malnutrition and weight loss, we eventually learned it wasn't just my stomach that was paralyzed but my small intestine as well and was diagnosed with digestive tract paralysis. I was put on TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition is IV nutrition that is infused through a surgically tunneled central line in my chest that goes directly to my heart) and have been on it for over 6 years and will for the rest of my life. Though TPN keeps me alive, and I'm beyond grateful to have access to life saving care it doesn't mitigate my disease and the symptoms that come with it. One main problem being inability to digest eat or drink and vomiting 10-15 times every single day. After 24 years of this my teeth have been absolutely destroyed in the process. My teeth have no enamel left and are breaking causing immense pain, infections, migraines, and miserable quality of life. I've been to a few specialist  maxiofacial/oral surgeons and it's been agreed that I unfortunately need all of my teeth pulled including completely horizontal impacted wisdom teeth and would best benefit from dental implants as dentures would be difficult with the constant vomiting. Insurance will pay for the hospital but not implants even though they're deemed medically necessary. We have the overwhelming struggle of trying to come up with $50,000. 

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