Share Her Smile

Fighting a rare liver disease, Rachel is trying to raise the money needed for a liver transplant that could save her life.
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Elizabeth Thompson
Health
Greenville, South Carolina
United States
1 Team Member

Our Story

At first glance, Rachel Gregory appears to be your typical 25 year old woman.  With a contagious smile and joking nature, she looks fine.  But behind that smile is constant pain. 

In 2007, Rachel was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.  She diligently took her daily prescribed medication, but continued having pain in the upper right quadrant.  The pain got so bad it landed her in the emergency room several times, and the doctors were sure it was her gallbladder.  After months of testing, she was referred to the University of Virginia Medical Center, where she received even more labs, x-rays and scopes.  Finally, a year after the pain started, she was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.  PSC, as it’s commonly referred, is a rare, incurable liver disease that causes the bile ducts to become scarred, narrowed and eventually blocked.  The only definitive treatment is a liver transplant, but even then sometimes PSC recurs.

The Impact

Rachel moved to South Carolina in 2010 and immediately got established with a local specialist.  He kept her on her current regimen of daily pills, but wanted to investigate further into the severity of the PSC.  After an ERCP, a procedure in which a stent is placed in the bile duct in hopes to allow better flow and relieve some pain, Rachel and her family were told she needed a transplant.  Even with the 20 pills a day, the disease was progressing quickly.  An appointment was scheduled with a hepatologist at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

After a GI bleed and a week in the hospital, Rachel’s doctors advised her she could not continue working.  She deserves to be enjoying life; hanging out with her fiancé and friends, traveling, going to work, doing things most 25 year old women don’t think twice about doing.  Instead, she fights a constant battle with intense pain, episodes of confusion, chronic fatigue, and swelling of the legs and feet.  Rachel continues to take over 20 pills a day, just to maintain some degree of normalcy.  Most days simply showering and getting dressed is completely exhausting and requires a nap afterward.  Things that the “average person” can accomplish in minutes take Rachel much longer.   

What We Need & What You Get

Because Rachel lives 4 hours away, the trips to MUSC require her and her caregiver stay overnight in the area.  She is also responsible for maintaining a minimum balance of $3,000 in the bank at all times for various expenses at the time of transplant.  MUSC also states a minimum of $200,000 is needed in order to receive the surgery.  Since Rachel is no longer able to work, she is depending on the kindness of family, friends, and total strangers.  Several fundraisers have been held, and money has been raised, but not nearly enough to cover all of her expenses. 

We would obviously love to be able to raise enough money so that Rachel doesn’t have to worry about co-pays, prescriptions, or any other bills during this stressful time.  However, we’ve set a realistic goal of $4000, which is what we were able to raise with our first Indiegogo campaign – surely we can do it again!  If everyone who read this sent in just $1, and forwarded the info to everyone they know, and they sent in just $1, things would snowball and we would have the money we need in no time!

If you decide to donate to our cause, you may choose to receive the associated “perk”.  These are just small tokens of our sincere appreciation for your support! 

Other Ways You Can Help

There are countless ways to help us “Share Her Smile!”  Don’t worry if you can’t contribute monetarily; word of mouth is a very powerful thing!  We simply ask that you help us spread the word, not only about our specific story, but about the importance of organ donation as well.  People decide to register as an organ donor because someone asked them.  “Don’t think of organ donations as giving up part of yourself to keep a total stranger alive.  It’s really a total stranger giving up almost all of themselves to keep part of you alive.” www.DonateLife.net

Educate others about Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and other liver diseases.  The liver is the second largest organ in your body and plays a huge part in your health.  Visit www.pscpartners.org for more valuable information.

Use “Good Search” as your go-to online search engine.  Set your charity to PSC Partners and every time you search, we get 1 cent closer to a cure!

Visit ShareHerSmile.org for even more information, read our online journal at www.caringbridge.org/visit/rachelgregory and don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook! www.Facebook.com/sharehersmile

And of course, prayers and well wishes are always greatly appreciated!

Find This Campaign On
$2,290USD
raised by 31 people in 3 months
57% funded
0 time left
$4,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on February 14, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    You Rock

    For a donation of $10, you will get a personal shout-out on the Share Her Smile Facebook page, publically thanking you for your support.

    2 claimed

  • $25USD
    Thank You

    In addition to the shout-out, a $25 donation also includes a Donate Life item to show your support, and a hand-written thank you from Rachel.

    4 claimed

  • $50USD
    Hanging in there

    For a donation of $50, you will receive a Share Her Smile glass ornament with a hand-written thank you note from Rachel.

    1 claimed

  • $100USD
    You deserve a hand

    For a $100 donation, you receive your hand-written thank you as well as a "Hope" bracelet; it is hand-crafted and represents the colors of liver awareness, as well as Rachel's personal favorite.

    1 claimed

  • $250USD
    Singing your praises

    Receive both the beautiful hand-crafted "Hope" bracelet AND stunning "Earrings of Hope" for a donation of $250. Both contain colors that are representative of liver awareness, as well as a few of Rachel's personal favorites. You will also receive a hand-written letter of gratitude from Rachel.

    1 claimed

  • $500USD
    You're a gem

    For a $500 donation, you will receive a beautifully faceted, genuine Peridot gemstone, with a minimum carat weight of 1/2 carat. Several cuts are available; emerald, pear, round, etc, but due to the limited availability of each, the cut of the sent gemstone will be a surprise! Each loose gemstone will be presented in a box suitable for display, and is ready to be mounted in your setting. In addition, Rachel will make a personal phone call expressing her gratitude for your utmost generosity.

    0 claimed

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