Devil Doll - Medical Expense Fund

For: Colleen Duffy
Cleveland, OH
Organizer: Colleen Duffy
Devil Doll - Medical Expense Fund (Colleen Duffy)
$18,723
of $25,000 goal.
Raised by 18 donors
74% Complete

The Story

This is the medical assistance funding page for Colleen Duffy, the musician also known as Devil Doll. 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 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.

Over the past several years, my health has progressively gotten worse and I have found myself in and out of hospitals all over the country with mystery symptoms, having tests done, procedures and surgeries, accompanied with long bouts of paralyzing systemic pain. I even had a surgery to remove cancerous growth in an attempt to keep all my organs. (I am waiting for an update since the attempt was not entirely successful.) Needless to say, none of this has been fun. Frankly, it has been scary as hell. Hence, many unanswered emails and FB messages, no new music and no tour dates.

Not only has it been scary dealing with a cancerous situation, but 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 body was doing crazy things and no one could figure out what was wrong with me. I have had every test done known to man. Finally, two months ago, I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndome type III. It is a connective tissue disorder that there is no cure for. I need to re-learn how to walk, sit, and stand, along with TONS of physical therapy. I also have had to have several rounds of nerve blocks and botox in my pelvis, just so that I could walk and not be bedridden.

Finally, we have discovered that I have been suffering from lead, mercury, arsenic and mold toxicity. Coupled with the aftermath of 15+ concussions, my brain and nervous system began to break down.  Due to all of the donations that have afforded me to seek out alterrnative care and resources,  we now have a detailed, comprehensive plan of  how to rehabilitate me! However, all of this has put me thousands and thousands of dollars in debt (more than $25,000) over the past several years, and there is still a bit of a journey ahead, requiring expensive detoxification supplement protocols, doctor visits, neurological rehabilitation, physical therapy, equipment, iv treatments etc. Mold illness kills people and it started to eat away at parts of my brain and nervous system. Thank God we finally figured out what was at the root. With your help, I can enter into the detox/ rebuild protocol along with it's expenses. This has been a very expensive process and it has financially broken me and my family. I could not do this without all of your support. I am 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 I'm glad I did. I still experience pain, but at least I am at a 40% functioning level instead of 5-10%. After all, I am sitting on so much new music, I can't wait to record it all!  *( my apologies for having to cancel all of the live shows last summer, but I was still so sick. We are not sure when I can return to playing)

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on July 2, 2017

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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

Posted on April 18, 2017

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Posted on April 18, 2017

Devil Doll update - Not Giving Up...
April 1st, 2017


Hey everyone.... Many people have been requesting an update and I just needed some more time to process the loss of my bass player, Justin and then the loss of my merch guy, Tony Espinosa. I remember one time on the road I had gone back to the van to lie down and rest before we played. The van was parked right outside the venue and I assumed all was fine. Two guys tried breaking into the van while I was inside and when I started banging on the windows and yelling at them, they tried harder to break in. I immediately called Tony, who by some miracle heard his phone ring, and he came running out of the front door like Hell Hath No Cholo Fury. It was AMAZING. He grabbed those two guys and clanked them together like a Three Stooges episode then slammed one on the ground and the other against the van. They ran off like suburban schoolkids who just got their asses kicked by a big, gay, Mexican punk rocker in a mohair grandpa sweater. I loved Tony and I miss him dearly.

I have surrendered to the concept that Life is Hard. I really believe that the path has been made harder for some than others for whatever reason. For those of you who love my music, you know that I do not write from a place of shallow, pop-y catchiness. I am the first one to throw on a happy catchy Blur song when I'm stuck in the middle of rush hour traffic, but that is not the kind of music I write. The Devil Doll music has always been about telling the truth even if it is uncomfortable, experiencing cathartic release and being a guide for those wandering through "the Valley of the Shadow of Death" to lead them safely out the other side. My music is not for everyone but I am always surprised how far and wide the love navigates.

I write what I know, and I understand the battle, the darkness, the loss, and the broken AS WELL AS... the Warrior, the light, revolution, peace and triumph. When people come up to me crying after shows telling me how my music saved their marriage or helped them through a time when they were suicidal and could barely function, it does not surprise me for a second. I write from a place of honestly and intensity. I do not break eye contact with what I am dealing with. I had a very difficult life and I grew up in a state of ultraviolence, crime, alcoholism and sexual abuse in a house that was so friggin' haunted it would blow out your adrenals. The illness, chronic pain and toxic overload that I am dealing with today, is in direct correlation with being a trauma survivior and how these abnormal high levels of stress compromised my body’s coping mechanisms to the point of malfunction. My connective tissue disorder, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome was even made worse and aggravated to the point that I was in a wheelchair for a while. I no longer walk with a cane, but I have to constantly tape up my joints to keep them from dislocating. It is common for my shoulders to subluxate during sleep and to wake up in the morning unable to move. Don’t get me started on the pain from subluxated ribs.

I never know what condition I am going to wake up in. I never really feel happy, nor do I feel joy because I am always in this gray place of blahness. The only time I feel relief is when I go to the movies and get lost, or receive good bodywork that realigns me. It is not fun. It just is. One day after the next. One doctor adds a gold nugget then another then another. It has been a long process. I am now preparing to do a very intense mold detox, and my main doctor has been coaching me through the book, The Body Keeps the Score. This book has changed my life and is outlining the reasons why my body was shutting down and continues to do weird things. I am now in the throws of addressing my sexual abuse on a deeper level than ever before. I thought I had successfully dealt with all of that years ago. Riiiiight. I am the strongest person I know and all of this has brought me to my knees. I have no idea how other people with huge histories have processed all the trauma and come out the other side. Oh wait, that’s right. Most do not, because the pain drives most into the arms of substance abuse and suicide. I have seen things that most people have only read about or seen in movies. Things that you could possibly think I was lying about. There are things I cannot talk about for legal reasons, nor are they appropriate to speak of in a public forum, but let’s just say I grew up around gangsters. Real gangsters. And some of what I learned from them, was to never be afraid and never give up. My mother was an angel and my father was a gangster. I went to Catholic school. I grew up in a haunted house. I quit Brownies the 3rd week. I was molested by several people and incested by a family member outside of my home. I got involved in gangs and got kicked out of schools for fighting and beating up bullies. I picked up a guitar and wanted to be Joan Jett. I made my way through higher education, college radio and waiting tables. I moved from Cleveland to Chicago to New York City to Los Angeles. I have had 2 major label deals and now release my own music. I have toured the world. I have been in car accidents, had major surgeries and fought cancer. I have buried more friends than I can count and 8 of them were from suicide (all trauma survivors), I have seen real evil and I have looked it in the eyes and told it to “fuck… right… off.” I go to church. I believe in God and I believe in art, because I believe that is where God meets us halfway. I believe in music because it saved my life, and I believe that is what my job is.

I will release another record and I already have the songs written, which you are gonna love. I will always make music because that is what I do. It just seems to come right out of me. I have to be in better health in order to return to Los Angeles to play and record, and that is not going to happen overnight. I have several detox protocols to complete as well as heal my soul before I can give anything else. Thank you for your support with this medical fundraiser. It has been accepting donations for a little over 2 years and you guys have not given up on me. Thank you. You have all made it possible for me to make it this far. Every donation goes directly to restoring my health and the costs that process incurs.

I will also be re-opening my Etsy store (TheDevilDollStore) on occasion selling Devil Doll merch and vintage items and jewelry. If you would like to be put on the mailing list for updates, you can comment with your email address or send a message through this page.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

- Colleen (Devil Doll) xo

"God gives his toughest battles to his strongest warriors, so that they may lead and show others."

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