Bruce Czopek TC Surgery Fund

For: Bruce Czopek
New Washoe City, NV
Organizer: Bruce Czopek, Susan Juetten
Bruce Czopek TC Surgery Fund  (Bruce Czopek)
of $37,500 goal.
Raised by 36 donors
17% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Thank you for reading about my fundraiser.

My name is Bruce Czopek and I have Tarlov Cyst Disease.( 

This is a rare, debilitating illness  affecting the root nerves that exit along the spinal cord. The insulated walls of the nerve itself balloon outward in a cyst that is filled with cerbral spinal fluid. The cysts then push and compress against other root nerves  causing a number of symptoms. 

I have 3 Tarlov Cysts in the sacral canal, compressing nerves that affect my legs, causing weakness, numbness and pain.  Without surgery the cysts will continue to compress these nerves and permanent damage is a real possibility. Because of this illness, I have not been able to work much over the last year and at this time have used my savings. 

There are only three neurosurgeons in the US who operate on Tarlov Cysts.  Of these three, Dr. Frank Feigenbaum in Dallas, Texas is the most respected neurosurgeon in this field. 

I recently saw Dr. Feigenbaum and we agreed surgery would be the best thing I could do for my condition. Unfortuantley Dr. Feigenbaum does not take Medicaid which is the only form of medical insurance I now have. 

But Dr. Feigenbaum offered me an extremely generous discount for his services as did the hospital where surgery would be performed and where I would have to stay for four days afterward. 

Performing surgery on a nerve is incredibly delicate and demanding. Dr. Feigenbaum is the best at this and the only one who I want to operate on this challenging area. Currently I am scheduled for surgery in the last half of January.

But I need your help to make this happen. The funds that will be raised are specifically for:

1) Dr. Feigenbaums fees
2) The Hospital fees which include the anesthesiologist, the radiologist, and a neuro monitoring team.
3) Travel, transportation and hotel for seven days in Dallas after being released from the hospital.  After those seven days if all is well, Dr. Feigenbaum will release me to return home to Reno, Nv.
4) Some basic monthly expenses for the recouperation period which can last up to a year. 

My family has encouraged me to reach out and ask for help with this large challenge. Indeed I am asking all my friends and family and now I am asking those who I may not know but whose hearts are wide and full of compassion to help me afford this needed surgery.  I hope you feel that helping me regain my full capacity to walk and function normally is an incredible gift that you feel good about giving. Any amount helps. Many hands and many heart will make the difference. Thank you all so much. 

Bruce Czopek

P.S.  In the gallery of photos you will find paintings that I have done and paintings from a good friend of mine, Gene McHugh. 

These paintings are thank you gifts for those who are able to and are moved to give a larger donation.  If you look in the updates file on this YouCaring site, there is a listing of the paintings and what catagory they fit in.  

Heck, they are easier on the eyes than more photos of me. But I do like having  the photo of my backpacking days as a positive reminder of what I look forward to after recouping from surgery!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on January 1, 2015

Posted on January 1, 2015

Dear Friends,
Big wishes for a Happy New Year to  all.  There is no better way to start the new year off than being grateful. As 2014 recedes and 2015 arrives, please accept my  deep thanks for your friendship, your emotional and your financial support.
Pre -op physical and tests are happening next week. Everything is in order for our departure on the 20th.  At the risk of being a nudge, I'll remind everyone once more but please keep me in your prayers and good thoughts on the morning of January 21 at 10:30 amTexas time. That is when the surgery is scheduled. Should last 2 to 3 hours.
We have raised almost the full amount of the medical and travel costs!!  Pretty darn amazing.  The goal for medical expenses, travel, lodging and transportation to and fro  Dallas was  $27,500.
Since October 25you generously and collectively have contributed $25,911.  My sister Barbara, who has already given freely, is loaning me the last bit which I will repay when I am back in good working order. And believe me, I look forward to that time. 
So again, heartfeltthank youto all of you who have so warmly given of your life energy and support. You made 2014 a most memorable year.
Here is the rogue's gallery of contributors to date :  Janice Barbour, Sat Shri, Carol Smith, Rosalee Stockwell, Kathy, Merry, Mr. Bad Example, Katherine Hidalgo, John and Kathy Dudley, Nancy and Tom Henderson, Gordon, Janet and Ned Stock ( who helped me out on my initial visit to Dr. Feigenbaum), Renee Bouck, Susan Juetten, Gene McHugh, Martin Miller, Paul and Sandy Otellini, David and Cindy Coverdale, Dennis Zelkowski and Donna Ravitz , Paul and Vanessa Czopek, Barbara Czopek,  Matthew O'Brien, Fithian Jones, Julie and Joe Snyder, Gayle Robinson, Kathy Schwerin, Doug Rogers, Craig Bonds, Mike and Jude Czopek, Jack and Carol Christenson, Laurie West, Gayle Robinson, and 23 anonymous donors. 
A note about our  anonymous donors:  It has been wonderful to know the generosity of good people whom I have never met. Although I know everyone's name who has donated, some have chosen to remain publicly anonymous.  Over the course of the last several months 23 such new friends have given via the YouCaring website, having seen my story there or seen a YouTube video that Kirsten Dirksen, (a very talented video documentary artist based in Spain)  created on my humble Airstream trailer. It has gotten over 90,000 hits so far. Ha! She was great in adding some text to the video with a couple of sentences about my situation and directing people to the YouCaring site.  Thank you, Kirsten.
Much love and a Happy New Year,

Posted on December 20, 2014

Posted on December 20, 2014

A good evening to all of you who may check in here. I want to give very special thanks  to those who have donated anonymously on this YouCaring site. Some of you came across my story via YouCaring and a number of you saw the video that Kirsten produced on the 1966 Airstream I am refurbishing and are making a heartfelt response to my situation. It is very touching that you would do so for someone who you just  happened  to stumble across!  My sincere gratitude for your compassion and caring. 

Others who have donated have done so directly to me and not necessarily through YouCaring so those particular contributions aren't reflected in the amount raised that is shown on my YouCaring webpage. The total medical costs to cover are $27.500. To date we have raised $24,948.!!!  Only $2552 to go. So close!  At first I had hoped to also raise some funds for living expenses during an extended recovery time but I have relaxed that and I have faith that will work out. The most important thing is we have managed to come together and pay for the surgery!  What a wonder. My heart goes out to all of you. 

Thank you,

Posted on November 20, 2014

Posted on November 20, 2014

A tired but happy good evening to everyone.

I am  blown away at the continued generosity that keeps finding its way to the surgery fund.
Words can't begin to express my gratitude but still I must say again and again, Thank you to
everyone for your contributions, good wishes, prayers and emotional support.

A friend made a comment that I should  be pleased and humbled to have so many supporters.
Without a doubt. It is wonderful.  Thank you.

Here is the latest on our efforts:

LIST OF EXPENSES FOR THE                                                 AMOUNT RAISED TO DATE
1) Dr. Feigenbaums fee:                                      $ 5,000                     $ 5,000
2) Hospital ( a 3 day stay,
and a surgery team that  
includes the anesthesiologist,
radiologist, and a neurological monitor team)     $ 18,000                     $12,848
3) travel to and from Reno to Dallas,
transportation, food and hotel for 
myself and a service companion  for 1                $  4,500                     $  4,500
week post operation.
4) basic living expense for a year,                       $ 10,000.
which is the "normal" recoup time
for this type of surgery.
__________               _________                
TOTAL                                                                   $ 37,500.                   $22,348

About the Organizer

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