Devil Doll - Medical Expense Fund

For: Colleen Duffy
Cleveland, OH
Organizer: Colleen Duffy
Devil Doll - Medical Expense Fund (Colleen Duffy)
$20,561
of $30,000 goal.
Raised by 54 donors
68% Complete

The Story

*** PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO "FUNDRAISER UPDATES" SECTION ***

This is the medical assistance funding page for Colleen Duffy, the musician also known as Devil Doll.  This fundraiser launched in January of 2015.  The following paragraphs are Colleen's story told in her words.


"Hi there everyone, and to all the Devil Doll fans that I love so madly and that have been so supportive over the years....
I was encouraged to open this page a few years ago, in order to explain to the fans why I have not released any new recordings, why I have stopped touring, why I started listing much of my personal vintage collection for sale... and to allow people an opportunity to help me, instead of trying to carry the burden alone and nearly dropping off the grid. I apologize for all the unanswered emails, FB messages and cancelled tour dates. This fundraiser was originally launched in January of 2015 on GiveForward.com, but then the company forwarded all the pages here to YouCaring. The financial support you see reflects back to that starting point. We were able to transfer all past updates to this page so you can see the progression of the postings.

Over the past 10 years, my health had progressively gotten worse and I have found myself in and out of hospitals all over the country with mystery symptoms, having tests done, blood work, procedures and surgeries, accompanied with long bouts of paralyzing systemic pain in both my muscles and joints. I even had surgery to remove questionable cancerous growth which was not fun. Living in a van on the road became unbearable, as well as trying to simply live in my own body.

There were days when I would be temporarily paralyzed with the feeling of electric volts shooting through my body. I couldn't even move to answer the door and spent a lot of time in bed. My memory had gotten so foggy, that I couldn't remember the day, directions to places, how to play certain instruments, read music or people's names. My body was doing crazy things and no one could figure out what was wrong with me. I had every test done known to man. In July of 2014, I was flown from Los Angeles back home to Cleveland to seek care from one of the most prominent medical communities in the world. I was being rolled into my doctor appointments in a wheelchair. Finally, in November of 2014, I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndome type III. It is a connective tissue disorder that there is no cure for. I had to re-learn how to walk, sit, and stand, along with TONS of physical therapy. I had to wear supportive braces when necessary and use kinesiology tape to hold my joints together. My ribs, shoulders, SI joints, ankles and feet kept coming apart and dislocating. The pain was excruciating. I also had to have several rounds of nerve blocks and botox in my pelvis, just so that I could walk and not be bedridden. I was bedridden for weeks at a time, had to learn how to use a cane and wear special orthotics with my shoes. There was only one pair of shoes that I could wear without wincing in pain and I wore them every single day for 2 straight years, (even in 6 inches of snow,) until they fell apart. I kept gaining weight no matter how healthy, organic, low-carb, high-fat, etc diet I did. Clothing hurt on my skin and I could only tolerate super soft, flowy, stretchy fabrics. Some days, I will change my outfit 2-3 times a day to feel more comfortable because a seam or tag feels like a nail against my skin.

As the testing continued, we discovered that I also had been suffering from lead, mercury, arsenic poisoning as well as mold toxicity that had gone into my brain. Coupled with the aftermath of 15+ concussions, my brain had lost gray matter volume and was compared to the size of someone suffering from Alzheimers. This would explain why I started to forget how to play instruments, read music, people's names, etc. The EDS explained why it became harder and harder for my hands to hold down cords on the guitar or notes on the upright bass. I was diagnosed with POTS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, which caused me to live in a constant state of motion sickness unable to walk, read, watch tv or tolerate temperatures above 73 degrees. This went along with my diagnosis of Hypovolemia, (low blood volume), and my Hyperkinetic Heart Syndrome which feels like my heart is going to pound right out of my chest. My autonomic nervous system was fried from all the stress of touring, friends dying, never feeling well and being a survivor of childhood abuse and incest. I was diagnosed with Dysautonomia, which is a dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system. Developmental trauma will fry the nervous system as it is being developed. Now, they have found that trauma, plus the presence of estrogen, can seriously compromise the detoxification pathways in women. This would explain how I seemed to have collected all these heavy metals and mold without dumping them. It can also explain why we see so many women with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, (which I have been diagnosed with as well). It was finally Functional Medicine that was able to connect all the dots for me.

Due to all of your donations, I have been able to seek out such alternative care and resources. We are still connecting the dots on my health problems and how to detox my body as well as how to restore my brain and balance my hormones. I have endometriosis and ovarian cysts and my menstrual cycle has sent me to the hospital more than once. Needless to say, we have more work to do, to get me to a higher functioning level. It has been a big giant game of 'hit and miss' on how to detox, balance and rehabilitate me. All of my treatments, testing and procedures have put me thousands of dollars in debt. It has financially broken me and my family. There is still a journey ahead, requiring expensive detoxification supplement protocols, doctor visits, neurological rehabilitation, physical therapy, PT tools, hormone therapy, iv treatments, etc., and EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR donated helps.

Mold illness kills people and it started to eat away at parts of my brain and nervous system and worsened all of my Ehlers-Danlos symptoms. Thank God we finally figured out what a major role it had been playing.. With your help, I can continue with my doctors to implement detox, balancing, diagnostic and restorative protocols to assist me in my journey to higher functioning and wellness. Getting sick is expensive. Having the support from all of you has been priceless.

As a thank you, I will start recording a new record in February of 2018. You can check my website Devil-Doll.com for the crowdfunding campaign details! You all said you wanted me to get well so that I could give you new music, so here we go! I am not well enough to tour or play live shows, and I am not sure when and if I will be able to play instruments again, but I will be well enough to record in February, thanks to your support.

    I am so glad that I did not listen to all the doctors that told me there was no cure, and the best I could do was to learn how to "manage my pain." I kept asking WHAT IS CAUSING ALL THIS UNBEARABLE PAIN? I kept seeking and researching day and night and I'm glad I did.

*** To read more about how I have recovered from POTS, brought my Dysautonomia symptoms to a minimum, and learned how to function daily with minimum pain while having Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, please read the MY STORY page on my site Devil-Doll.com.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on November 3, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on November 3, 2017

Hey everyone! Thank you to all of you who have been supporting my medical fund. I could not do this without you! I do have good news to start recording a new Devil Doll record in February! We will be launching the crowdfunding campaign in a few weeks so watch for that! It will announced on the website www.devil-doll.com as well as the FB page www.facebook.com/DevilDollBand. If you are on Instagram, please join us at... @DevilDoll_Official.

I was not sure when I would be able to record a new record, but everything just kinda fell into place and the stars aligned. I unexpectedly had to fly out to Los Angeles to close out my place that had just been sitting there. When I woke up partially paralyzed one day, my mom threw me on a plane and I had no idea I would be gone for 3 years yet alone suddenly become handicapped. Everything I owned was at my house as well as all my equipment and instruments, costuming, props etc. I thought all my stuff would be safe until I got well enough to return. One of my best friends started to stay at the house and noticed that the finished garage area where a ton of my stuff was smelled like mold. I freaked out on a galactic level since I have mold illness that has gone into my brain. We brought out an inspector and sure enough everything was contaminated and he found black mold in the house in the kitchen and the bathroom. (the entire subfloor was soaked) I had only lived there for about 3 weeks before I woke up partially paralyzed and had to leave. To make a very LONG story as short as possible, I lost THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS worth of possessions and belongings. California had suffered record breaking rains last year and it destroyed my storage. Rage does not even begin to explain it. There are some things that are irreplaceable. Yet they are only things and just a few years ago I almost died. I would rather have my health and my life.

I told very few people I was in town because I had so much work to do and was still feeling quite sick. I just didn't want people to see me like that. However, I did see a few people and they wanted to hear the stuff I had been working on and that was when I realized I had more than enough for an album. My sax player introduced me to his friend who is acting as musical director for a touring David Bowie project and we clicked. I now have a competent producer to help take pressure off of me during the recording process. Hence... now we are making a record and launching a crowdfunding campaign. It's gonna be killer.

Also during this time, I made a breakthrough with my health. My art therapist told me about a book called, The Plant Paradox by Dr Steven Gundry where loads of research is laid out explaining the toxic effect of lectins on the body due to their poisonous nature and molecular mimicking properties. I was skeptical because I have done just about every single medical/anti-inflammatory diet that was ever created. However, this book just came out in 2017. The evidence has blown my head off and he answers every single one of my weird symptoms that I have been having throughout my entire life. I have been fighting constant illness since I was 6 years old, and was in the hospital constantly for 2 years before I had to be flown back home to Cleveland. Other than that, I would have to have a random surgery or procedure every 1-2 years throughout my entire adult life. Although I tried to hide it from friends and the public, it would also become a strain on any intimate relationship I had, so I finally just stopped dating.

Going lectin-free has CHANGED MY LIFE. They are reversing cancer and auto-immune diseases, as well as Alzheimers with this approach. (see the book, 'The End of Alzheimers.' The pain in my joints and muscles from my EDS went down 90% within 24 hours and I had more energy than I could remember and it just kept getting better. I could NOT believe it was the lectins, so I went back and forth adding lectins then taking them away about 4 different times til I was convinced. Everything he said in the book is true and science backs it up completely.

Now, from all the medications (which I am now 100% off of), the procedures, surgeries, toxicity, (lead, mercury, arsenic and black mold poisonings) and pain during mobility from EDS and fibromyalgia... caused weight gain. I was also dealing with inhumane amounts of stress from my father dying (with his whole side of the family sticking me with the funeral bill after promising to cover it), having constant misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis, having to wait 3-6 months for the next doctor appt, not knowing if I could ever get on stage again, being behind on my taxes, having weird new symptoms manifest without reason, randomly coming in and out of motion sickness, and the list goes on and on and on... All of this stress brought up childhood abuse and trauma issues and it threw me straight into art therapy. Time does NOT heal all wounds and complex PTSD evolves into a darker animal over time if not properly addressed.

Art therapy has helped me to connect dots and heal parts of myself that I had locked away for their own protection. needless to say, many times the body is the last to heal. The book, 'The Body Keeps the Score' has also changed my life. A must-have when dealing with trauma and it proves how the body stores everything and records it all. The art therapy and techniques I have learned, help me to "stay current" with my experiences so that they get processed in real time instead of getting stored somewhere and locked away. However, my digestive, endocrine, vascular and nervous system have taken a huge hit. I was on antibiotics constantly as a kid from recurring ear infections and it destroyed my microbiome. In the past I have never had remarkable experiences on probiotics or even noticed a change, but now that I have removed lectins as well as adding PREbiotics to my probiotics...WOW. I have now added a product called ALMASED, which I must say is giving me a new lease on life as well as hope for a healthy future. It is transforming my life and balancing my hormones and thyroid while allowing me to heal my digestive tract, (which is at the root of all disease.) And... oh yea, I am FINALLY dropping the weight. What Almased is capable of accomplishing is nothing short of miraculous. I am so grateful that this product exists, and if YOU have a problem with inflammation and weight gain please try this product. (start off mixing it with water only not almond milk). I feel SO STRONGLY about this product, that I am going to contact them and see if they will sponsor me and perhaps give me a discount code I can pass along to all of you.

Well.... that is the update everyone. Thank you for your continued financial support to afford me art therapy, physical therapy and health supplements. I am still not fully recovered by any means, but at least my real recovery has FINALLY begun. You have carried me through this and I promise to deliver a killer new record!
THANK YOU!!!  I LOVE YOU!!!!
Love,
Colleen

Posted on July 2, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on July 2, 2017

I wanted to post an update because I feel inspired from seeing U2 and One Republic play last night. I have not been to a concert in a few years due to my physical condition, but scream-singing Sunday Bloody Sunday with thousands of other people propelled my memories through all the times in my life that music was my only friend. Being so sick for so long has made me fairly immune to fun or caring about many things. Being in chronic pain has established detox protocols, pain mngt techniques, appointments and online research as my full time job. There is very little time for much else. Every once in a while a new song will pour out of me and going to the movies seems to be my only outlet for entertainment. All that being said, the U2 concert was awesome and the singer for One Republic blew my head off, so it's a great feeling.

I am currently working on clearing my sinus staff infection which comes along with mold illness. Very soon I will begin to re-introduce the actual mold detox protocol. (It is pretty painful and I couldn't handle it last time.) I feel that my detox pathways are a bit stronger than they were previously, so fingers crossed. I am really doing well with my art therapy which has been a Godsend and allowed me to process a lot of things that have happened in my life. As many of you know, who have been following my story, I am an abuse and incest survivor, and with that comes some pretty dark stuff. I really believe that my history has played a role in my illness and I need to clear all this stuff out and give it a voice through art for all the times I was preverbal and couldn't actually talk about it. Even as a child, you are taught not to talk about it. So where does all the trauma go? Deep into the body. "Issues in the tissues." It is no wonder I had a mohawk at 14 and got kicked out of schools multiple times for beating up bullies. Punk rock saved my life. Music saved my life. There have been some people sprinkled throughout this timeline who have saved my life. And now, I am still fighting. Trauma is such a bitch. Some of my closest friends are combat vets. We sit and laugh and laugh about how "crazy" we are and the insane stuff we've done. Then, we all feel better.

I really needed to take a break from music because touring was killing me. My health could not support the non-stop stress of all the stupid shit that would happen, like... promoters refusing to give me all our money and pulling a gun out on me, substandard hotel conditions at times with bugs or dangerous neighborhoods (while we had thousands of dollars in gear), our van spinning off the highway hanging sideways off a hill, our shit getting stolen, cracked windshields, flat tires, musicians running off with random chicks and disappearing at the worst possible times, no food available for me for after-gig dinner (since I had to sing and couldn't eat right before we played, like everyone else could, and was always starving after each gig), many times not having enough time to calmly do my hair and makeup which takes 75 mins, packing and unpacking all hair/makeup/wardrobe twice a day, getting re-routed in construction, forgetting about time zone changes, having to set up all the merch and tear down, all while wearing the hat of front person/tour mngr/ band mngr/ therapist and sometimes booking agent. It all became too much. I needed a break.

I love the fans. Touring is the best way to meet all the fans everywhere. It is so amazing. The fans are what makes it all worthwhile. I am just not sure how much actual touring I will be able to do in the future. I know we will be able to do festival shows and big venue shows in southern CA, and I have a ton of music prepared for recording the new record, I just need to be healthier to take it all on. I cannot leave Cleveland and return to Los Angeles to record, unless I am in good health. I am doing everything that I can to recover and then some. I just want to thank all of you for supporting me through this journey. It's amazing how many donors write me notes saying how much my music has helped them through hard times so that they feel it is rewarding to be able to support me in return. Now that's pretty cool.

Right now I have $600 in mold tests to pay for which is a big hit, and I am continuing with physical therapy and art therapy which is a monthly expense. Thank you everyone for supporting me, and feel free to order a new Devil Doll canvas bag in red or black! (See the previous Facebook post for pics of bags.)

Thank You Everyone!!!!!!!!
Love,
Colleen xo

Posted on May 29, 2017

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Posted on May 29, 2017

Hey Everyone!
My medical fundraiser has moved to this new site here at youcaring.com. Thank you for your continual support.
I am still moving forward to detox all the mold from my system. I am currently trying to wipe out the Marcons staff infection in my sinuses, which is very common with mold illness, and is a very difficult feat. It is getting increasingly difficult for me to breathe, so this has moved to high priority. I even had a surgical procedure done to try to open up my sinuses, with zero results. There are a lot of special sinus rinses, and strong nasal sprays. Thank God for sleep CPAP machines, because without mine, I start to actually choke within one minute.

I have been doing light therapy, vibrational therapy, chiropractic, etc. as well as all the detox protocols, supplementation, physical therapy, etc. I have had to really stay on top of my EDS (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) which is a connective tissue disorder, and have now been walking without a cane again for about a month.

It is very frustrating being sick and sitting on all these new songs, but I'm not sure exactly when I can return to Los Angeles. I am hoping to be able to return in the winter. At least the pain has gone down some, but all these protocols, therapy, and difficulty breathing is emotionally, physically and financially exhausting.

Thank you for all your support,
-Colleen xo

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