Michael Van Huffel is funny. Michael is smart. Michael inspires. But Michael is sick.He has been suffering for the last 8+ years and he needs our help.
So I and several friends have set up this site and: gofundme.com/myfriendmichael Please consider making a contribution! Everything helps.
To understand more about my friend Michael's situation read on. Visit the gofundme page for updates including additional support efforts for Michael and messages from Michael when he is able.
- Jesse HayesWHAT HAPPENED?!A neuro-immune disease that was likely triggered by an unlucky immune response to a virus or other pathogen and has been debilitating. His life since has been focused entirely on stability and treatment, which has included having a port placed in his heart, over a year of giving himself IV drugs daily, among other protocols. When first got sick he thought, like most of us do, that he'd see a doctor, get treatment and be back to his normal life in no time. A new clinic that focuses specifically on this type of condition, and currently includes 2 Nobel prize-winning researchers, became available to Michael recently. He's begun IVIG treatment, which involves a 7 hour infusion every three weeks. It's a tough but encouraging course of treatment, and the doctors are hopeful.BEFORE GETTING SICK:Michael was an award-winning designer, creative director and motion design specialist, creating album and other artwork for Prince as well as other arists, and titles/trailers for film, television and advertising. Also a musician, having attended Berklee College of Music when he was younger. Just before getting ill, things were going well, and he'd just bought a home on Venice Beach.WHEN HE FIRST GOT SICK:He thought, like most of us do, that he'd see a doctor, get treatment and be back to his normal life in no time. That didn't happen for Michael. After two years of getting increasingly ill, he was unable to work and had to sell his home and car, and has incurred over $250,000 in out-of-pocket medical costs already. Just after having the port placed in his heart, and before the laws were changed regarding pre-existing conditions, his insurance dropped him, which made it impossible to get new insurance for nearly two years—yet treatment had to continue. On top of all of that, he still has regular bills including rent (6 years ago, after selling his home, he moved into a one-room studio aparment), food and internet (his primary connection to friends in the outside world). His life has been about as bare bones as you can get. However, after more than 8 years in treatment, resources are running very low.WHAT HE NOW CONTENDS WITH:Michael has intense muscle pain, flu-like immune symptoms, stomach problems, temporal lobe seizures, and sometimes just has simply blacked out. This illness hits the nervous system in various ways. He can not currently work or drive because of his condition and rarely leaves the house. In fact, Michael moved for treatment for what was thought to be a limited period, but as treatment got more intense, ended up essentially stranded and far from friends. Hard as it is to imagine he has had the equivalent of around 16-20 hours of strictly non-medical human contact in the last year. That’s a deprivation few of us could imagine. This is not an illness that “comes and goes”, it is relentless and this has been Michael’s everyday existence and has been for over 8 years.Michael has some great friends, though they are spread across the globe and are rarely able to be with him and offer that human contact he so truly needs. I know there are resources that have yet to be tapped, that could help Michael. He needs to find some comfort and support (financially and personally) as he continues his battle through treatment. Thank you for your support.PLEASE SHARE THIS LINK
REACH OUT TO MICHAEL
EMAIL JESSE HAYES
to organize support, brainstorm ideas for fundraising or get more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Absolutely EVERYTHING helps!