$20

Bowling Fundraiser for Tara Dougherty #tarastribe

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Total Sports

40501 Production Drive

Harrison charter Township, MI 48045

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No Refunds

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Mark Your Calendar
Help Tara reach her goal to have Spine Surgery in New Jersey and join us for an afternoon of fun. All are welcome!
Enjoy 3 games of 9 pin no tap bowling along with raffles, 50/50, “Coolers of Cheer” and much more. Your cost also includes unlimited pizza and pop and a cash bar will be available.

So, why do we need your help?
Tara was always an active child who enjoyed playing outside, gymnastics and roller skating. When it was found at a young age that she had scoliosis, she wore a brace and through the recommendations of doctors, it was monitored and she stayed active and healthy.
Through time, a marriage, 3 beautiful children and a career as a special education teacher, Tara was living her best life. But what she often hid and kept secret was excruciating pain. Pain through her pregnancies, pain after delivering and pain in her everyday life. You see, after each pregnancy, the curvature in Tara’s spine has gotten progressively worse. So bad, that she is in constant pain. Along with a double curve of scoliosis, she also found that she has an autoimmune disorder called Ankylosing Spondylitis. This causes inflammation and pain in her joints and thickening of her organs. Through all of this, she also found through tremendous hip pain that she has no cartilage left and will need double hip surgery in the future, but cannot until her spinal issues are taken care of.
Tara, still dedicated as ever to her work, sought to work part time to keep the job she loves. As of recently, she has been taken completely off of work and the outlook for mobility and living the active life she loves gets worse and worse. Tara struggles with everyday tasks like walking, going up and down stairs and getting up and down from the floor. She cannot sit or stand for extended periods of time and struggles immensely with finding a comfortable sleep position.
Through hundreds of doctors, specialists, therapists, therapies, and a dedication to living a healthy lifestyle, Tara has tried it all. Only to be met with the same “fork in the road”. She had two options; Opioid drug pain management therapy and spinal fusion surgery. Tara reacts terribly to pain medication. She gets, hives, nausea and horrible insomnia when she has to take them, so pain management is just not an option. Spinal fusion surgery has been recommended but only as her last resort. Basically, she would need to be in pain so bad that she would rather die, before any surgeon would do the surgery. Why? Because there is a huge risk. Tara would have a more than 60% likelihood that she would be paralyzed from the neck down. Because of her degree of and multiple curvatures, Tara would have to be fused from her neck to her pelvis making it impossible to bend, turn or do most daily living skills. She would never put her own shoes on, help her children to do theirs or even get out of bed the same again. The prognosis looked bleak. Who was she, if she didn’t have the ability to do all the things that she loved.
One day during 6 months of running around to different medical campuses to seek different options, while browsing through a “scoliosis warriors” support group on Facebook, she came across an animation video of a “contemporary scoliosis surgery” that was being done in Switzerland. The narration was in a language foreign to her, so she went to YouTube and plugged in “contemporary scoliosis surgery”. There wasn’t much, but she did find a video done about a child who had a groundbreaking, minimally invasive procedure to correct her curvature: Anterior Scoliosis Correction, also known as Vertebral Body Tethering. This was done by a group of doctors known as Drs ABC (Antonacci, Betz and Cuddihy) in New York. She was thrilled! She frantically researched. She found multiple children who had had this procedure done with great results. . From what she gathered, there was a very, very small chance of an adult being a candidate for this surgery. She contacted the office of theses 3 surgeons and began having conversations with their assistants. She explained and she begged.
One Thursday evening in October their scheduling office called and said that she “appears to be a good candidate!” They asked if she could come to their New Jersey office that Tuesday for additional imaging, exam, and a formal evaluation.
This is what she had to say:
Knowing that these surgeons in NJ see patients every day that are turned away and told that they're not a candidate for this procedure, I hesitantly paid out of pocket for their imaging studies and consultation, traveled to their office in NJ and was shocked when they told me that I'm indeed a candidate (pending further investigation of my spine via imaging)! During that consult for this surgery that I so badly wanted, I had a scare- they thought I had a mass, something called "winking eye sign". Thankfully, after a bazillion tests I found out that I have spina bifida occulta and agenesis of a pedicle- not cancer! The testing also revealed compressed ribs, a bulging or herniated disc between every vertebrae except two, 2 large cysts, bone spurs, crumbling joints, inflammatory arthritis, tendinosis, and impingement. Somehow, I’ve maintained good ‘height and flexibility” in my spine, and by the grace of god I AM STILL A CANDIDATE FOR THIS LIFE CHANGING SURGERY!
This microsurgery is something so new that I'd be only the 12th adult in the US to have it. The risks are very low, the surgery is only 3-5 hours long and they are optimistic that I'll return to a normal, active life. There will be minimal blood loss, I can leave the hospital after 3 days, and I can return home to Michigan after only 2 weeks. I’ll have two small incisions behind my arms, allowing them to perform what they call a muscle-sparing surgery. I’ll need a double tether (or rope) which will be fed through the screws which will be fitted into my vertebrae, yet still this procedure will preserve the flexibility in my spine, stop the progression, and hopefully relieve some of this pain! They are the first doctors to say that a surgical procedure will reduce my pain! No insurance will pay the surgical fees because it's considered ‘medical research’. Sounds crazy, but it's a risk I need to take- my only chance to maintain some normalcy.
This surgery is NOT covered by insurance because it is not approved yet. It is still considered medical research. In total, the surgery will cost close to $80,000 out of pocket. We need your help! Please come to the fundraiser, share it with your friends and family and make this a HUGE success. To know Tara, is to know selflessness and compassion. She needs us now.

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Date and Time

Location

Total Sports

40501 Production Drive

Harrison charter Township, MI 48045

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Refund Policy

No Refunds

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