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Treatment Expenses for Asia Canaday

$10,035raised of $50,000 goal
20%

Organizer: Beneficiary: Canaday Family

I received this message today from one of my dearest friends. She and her family are in a fight for her daughter's life. Many of us, even those close to the family, had no idea how serious her...

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I received this message today from one of my dearest friends. She and her family are in a fight for her daughter's life. Many of us, even those close to the family, had no idea how serious her illness had become.  I hope that you read Mani's message and feel drawn to donate. Any amount helps.

Dear Friends,

I am writing to you today about my daughter, Asia. Some of you are very intimately acquainted with Asia's situation, and some of you know nothing about it at this point. Here's the thing, Asia needs help of the lifesaving variety, and if you are included in this group it is either because I know that you know her and love her, or that your faith and good energy/prayers/thoughts are powerful, or that maybe, just maybe you have some connection to someone or something that may help her.

Asia has anorexia, and is in the fight for her life. We first noticed some issues with her when she was in 8th grade and took her to a therapist, which led to a psychiatrist, and so on. She was misdiagnosed, first with depression and anxiety disorder, then with bipolar disorder. Her father, sisters, and I all brought up concerns time and again about her weight and eating habits. Each doctor, nurse, and therapist we spoke with dismissed these concerns. They told us that when the meds kicked in and her mood stabilized, she would eat. Only she didn't eat.

What she did do was get thinner and thinner, more entrenched in body dysmorphia, more anxious, more depressed, more sick. Finally, after nearly two years, a couple of months ago her psychiatrist diagnosed her as having an eating disorder.

Asia is not just thin and in emotional pain, her health is in serious peril. She has a subtype of anorexia in which she not only starves herself, if she does eat, she purges. She has anxiety attacks, insomnia, her hair is thin and brittle, her nails pitted and peeling, lanugo grows on her cheeks, she has the classic "chipmunk cheeks" caused by thyroid malfunction due to the disorder, her arms and legs swell due to fluid retention, her pulse regularly registers between 40-50, and her blood pressure has been as low as 60/40. She suffers from hypothermia, her teeth are eroding from vomiting, and regularly has bouts of crushing chest pain and an irregular heartbeat.

Due to the severity of her illness, she requires around the clock supervision and her dad and I have worked together to make that happen. I lost my job after calling in so many times to take her to the doctor, therapist, grab her from school after she blacked out (she doesn't go at all now), etc... Neither of us can remember our last full night of sleep, because we are up so often checking on her, taking vitals, making her drinking electrolytes, etc... and because we are very afraid she will go into cardiac arrest in her sleep and we will find her dead.

She is fifteen years old. Right now, she is in a short term inpatient facility, her third such stay since April. They will release her tomorrow, even though she is in no shape to be home. The psychatrist there is wringing her hands. She told us last night that although she knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Asia needs intensive residential treatment, our state insurance will not cover it until she has taken and "Failed" an intensive outpatient eating disorder program. She said, "I am afraid that if you ever want her to get better, you will just have to figure out how to pay out of pocket. If she were my daughter, I would skip the outpatient, fire her current psychiatrist and therapist, and get her somewhere that knows this disease."

Today I am going to be calling every single reputable eating disorder program in the country to beg them to take her on a payment plan until I find one that will work with us. In all likelihood, proper help will cost between $30,0000-75,000. I could care less about that, though it may influence whether or not they will allow us to make payments for many years.

If you wonder why we are not utlizing a facility in AZ, it is because they are sub-par, have terrible long term recovery rates, and anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness. My daughter has stated that she would rather die than eat. There are NO current treatment options that have great recovery rates after 3 of disease onset and we are on year two. The Maudsley Method, also known as FBT, has the highest adolescent recovery rate of all therapies for anorexia, at 60-80%. This is almost double the other modalities, which are not backed by strong clinical studies. So, Maudsley it is.

If you pray for her, think of her, know anyone who works in eating disorders who may have some ideas for our family, etc... I would be so grateful. She is a wonderful daughter, and I want her back. I want her to live.

Love,

Mani

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Updates

Updates

03/16/2013
by
Today marks one full week since our return home. I still owe the UCSD Eating Disorder clinic close to $9, 000. I would pay them ten times that if I could. Every single person who worked with our family was stellar. During the discharge process they also located an FBT trained psychiatrist and psychologist. In our area for follow-up care. We met with the psychologist last week, and our second appointment is tomorrow. We feel like she will be a good fit for our family.

Overall, things have been going as well as could be expected since our return home. We are still in the phase of recovery that requires 24/7 supervision, so I am getting creative about how to work since my usual job, with its long and unpredictable hours is simply not an option at this time. Getting rid of an eating disorder is an awful lot like getting rid of an abusive partner. It is not enough to kick them out of the house and lock the door. It will look for any opportunity to worm its way back in. Give it an inch and it won't just take a mile. It won't be satisfied until you are enslaved, and eventually dead. E.D. is a persistent motherfucker. Given the boot, but we still see shadows.

I know I have said it over and over again, but once again I am offering you my thankful heart. We never would have come this far without you. The road is long and treacherous, but we are going to keep going for as long as it takes.
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02/27/2013
by
Good news abounds. This morning it was decided that tomorrow Asia will bump down from the 8 hour program to thethree hours a day program. This decision was made by her psychiatrist, personal therapist, family therapist, group therapists, nutritionist, Asia, and myself. I feel confident that she has a great team and that all of us reaching consensus on this is a great indicator that she is indeed ready.in fact, there were people involved in the decision who feel that she is ready to discharge and go home. We decided on this step down instead. Simply to see how she does with more time with just me monitoring her with a safety net still in place, and to give us time to find a therapist back home who is equipped to handle her follow up care. While no date has been set, in all likelihood we will only be here for another week or two.

I feel very optimistic and full of hope, but as my mentor who has been through this with her own daughter so wisely and gently reminded me, this does not mean we are done. It is more like the end of phase one. Our expenses will be slowing with this transition, but I am still a few thousand dollars behind on treatment payments, and the three hour program is a few hundred dollars a day. When we return home, she will still need to see both a psychiatrist and a therapist regularly, too. Your continued support through March while I re-establish my income and attempt to catch up on both treatment payments and living expenses would be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you so very much for all that you have done so far. You all have been instrumental in helping me save my daughter's life. You are heroic,  the lot of you, and I am forever grateful. I promise to pay you back by paying it forward.
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02/19/2013
by
It feels like a gross understatement to say that we are seeing huge progress. We have been here for just under a month, but we are lifetimes away from where we started. Asia has been eating all meals and snacks, and she has not purged since we arrived. She had a funny feeling yesterday morning, and it took her a moment to identify it. It turned out to be hunger. This is huge. She is feeling hunger for the first time in a very long t ime. Feelings of guilt and shame around food are vanishing. With weight restoration, her nourished brain is being restored to rational thought process. It is nothing short of miraculous to behold. It also turns out that I was right about bipolar disorder being a correct diagnosis. Under the care of an excellent psychiatric team, those meds have been ditched, and her moods and feelings are completely normal.  As the eating disorder recedes, I am seeing more and more of the daughter who slowly disappeared over the last couple of years. She is reclaiming her life, one day, one meal, one bite at a time. 
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02/13/2013
by
First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who has donated so far. We would not be where we are without your generous support. So where are we? We are receiving treatment at one of the best eating disorder clinics in the country. Asia was inpatient for our first two days here to ensure medical stabilization. Then we attended a five day family intensive where we learned valuable skills to assist with her recovery. Now she is attending a six hour a day, six day a week intensive outpatient program. None of this would have been possible without your support. She is already making huge steps towards recovery, and is eating again, with much support and encouragement. For the first time since the onset of this disease, Asia has admitted that she has a problem and needs help to overcome it. This  is huge.

She has also expressed that she is afraid to go home to Phoenix, where she will not have this sort of care. She can see now that the people who were supposed to be helping her there were not, and she is angry about it. So are we. Right now we have enough money for about one more week of treatment. She needs an estimated eight more. The cost of  treatment is six hundred dollars a day, and that does not include hotel, transportation, and incidentals that occur, such as the trip to the hospital for labs that were needed yesterday.

We realize it is a lot to ask, and we would not, if the need was not so pressing. We are terrified of losing the amazing gains we have seen so far. At this time I am asking that you please help us see to it that the end of Asia's treatment is marked by her treatment team's belief that she is ready, not by our inability to keep paying for it. Thank you. With all that I hold sacred, I thank you.
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02/13/2013
by
First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who has donated so far. We would not be where we are without your generous support. So where are we? We are receiving treatment at one of the best eating disorder clinics in the country. Asia was inpatient for our first two days here to ensure medical stabilization. Then we attended a five day family intensive where we learned valuable skills to assist with her recovery. Now she is attending a six hour a day, six day a week intensive outpatient program. None of this would have been possible without your support. She is already making huge steps towards recovery, and is eating again, with much support and encouragement. For the first time since the onset of this disease, Asia has admitted that she has a problem and needs help to overcome it. This  is huge.

She has also expressed that she is afraid to go home to Phoenix, where she will not have this sort of care. She can see now that the people who were supposed to be helping her there were not, and she is angry about it. So are we. Right now we have enough money for about one more week of treatment. She needs an estimated eight more. The cost of  treatment is six hundred dollars a day, and that does not include hotel, transportation, and incidentals that occur, such as the trip to the hospital for labs that were needed yesterday.

We realize it is a lot to ask, and we would not, if the need was not so pressing. We are terrified of losing the amazing gains we have seen so far. At this time I am asking that you please help us see to it that the end of Asia's treatment is marked by her treatment team's belief that she is ready, not by our inability to keep paying for it. Thank you. With all that I hold sacred, I thank you.
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01/18/2013
by
Ped appointment. 
Cardiologist referral for a Holter Monitor. 
Fax this.
Then call here.
Then double check.
Call back.
Lose sleep.
Take vitals.
Push fluids.
Pick up pieces.
Rub back.
Sweet words.
Love. Love. Love.
Repeat.
This is where we are.


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01/16/2013
by
After many hours of calling treatment facilities and asking two million questions, today I completed a phone intake and was given an appointment date. On February 5th Asia will receive an eight hour medical/psychological exam with one of the best eating disorder teams in the country. This day will cost approximately $4200, so you have already covered this part of her treatment. Thank you for that.

If this sounds like a ridiculous amount of money for an examination, please consider that eating disorders can affect every single body system. Teeth, throat, bones, stomach, intestines, heart, kidneys, the list goes on. The team of specialists will use the information from this day to ensure that Asia receives the proper medical care, in addition to addressing the disorder through the appropriate therapies. Talking about feelings and learning coping techniques, while import, won't matter much in the long run if she has underlying medical issues that are not caught and treated appropriately.

After that, we will be staying for an undetermined length of time, dependent upon what medical treatments she requires, and how she responds to therapy. It is going to be a long haul.

I am still awaiting a call-back from one other medical center that offers the same level of comprehensive care and may possibly be lower in cost. If it comes quickly enough, and they have an appointment for her at an early enough date, we may cancel the above and go that route, but time is of the essence. We had a really rough day today, and it is painfully clear that soon can't come soon enough.
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01/13/2013
by
After four short days, we have reached 11% of our fundraising goals. This is mindblowing. The power of love as a verb, community, strangers holding hands in a silent circle around a child so that when she falls she won't hit the ground, but the safe barrier of warm bodies is a miracle. I have always said that miracles look an awful lot like hard work, and that I don't need to fall back on celestial angels when there are so many right here on Earth. I find my divinity in people. You, each and every one of you, are in the process of saving a life. It requires heroic effort from a good many people to overcome an eating disorder, but blessedly, it seems that there is no short supply of heroes. As for the home front efforts, we have made it through four days of being home together after Asia's five day stay in a crisis inpatient center. We are helping her 24/7, loving her with everything we have. The treatment facility we originally chose still does not have an opening, so tomorrow morning I will be making calls to other facilities that have good reputations. Time is of the essence, and the clock is ticking. I will update again as soon as our next step is solidified. With deep gratitude, Mani
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01/10/2013
by
Please excuse the brief nature of this update, it has been a long day and I am pretty much exhausted on every level. After a lot of research and consideration, we decided upon a treatment facility we think will give Asia the best possible shot at recovery. Once we made this decision, I completed the phone screen/intake, and was told I would receive a phone call when a spot became available, and we would be told when to fly out. Being antsy and impatient from worry, I called them back this morning. Still no final word, but the gentleman I spoke with was very apologetic and told me he should know later in the afternoon or tomorrow morning. Even though it is hard to wait, I was glad that he could not give me a solid date. This is a sign that they are actually working with their patients until they are ready to leave, not kicking them out on a date they decided upon at admission. Yesterday we discussed payment options, and the way it works with this particular program is that you have to pay for the first week up front, and on the last day of that week, you pay for the next week, and so on. And on that front, I should be grateful that it is taking them a couple of days, because even if they are ready for her, we won't be ready for them until we have the money to cover that first week. I am so very grateful to each and every person who has contributed even a single dollar so far. You are, quite literally, my daughters' lifesavers. Those of you who could not donate but offered me your personal stories, love, or best wishes are my lifesavers. It all matters. Every single shared moment of love and empathy matters. There are people I have never even met who now hold eternal spots in my heart. There are no words of thanks that could possibly mean enough, so I am praying you all will just know how huge your gifts are to me and my family. As I wrote on my blog this morning, please do not comment on your donations, "It isn't much," because that isn't true. Regardless of dollar amount, you have given us everything.
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