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Jennifer Weber

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Travel update day 2 in Paris: My husband and I made it to Paris yesterday, upon arriving at our hotel, I immediately set myself up with all the pillows from the bed under my knees, to release the pressure on my back. I fell asleep nearly immediately I woke up around 10:00 PM. It was a Sunday night so most restaurants have closed early, so we just ate snacks, and went to bed around 10:30.

But today we got up early, took care of some financial budgeting stuff and went to have breakfast and coffee before heading to the Louvre.

Special tip for those visiting the Louvre with disabilities: if you go to one of the attendance at the waiting line, they will allow you to enter through the special entrance for those with disabilities. If you have a disability you and one additional person are allowed free entry. You don't even have to wait in line to get a "special" ticket, just go straight to the hall you want to enter, mention your disability and they will waive your right through. There are elevators and escalators all over the place marked for disability priority. It was remarkable to be treated so well, with to many accommodations for my needs.

Of course, some of the other tourist there are very pushy and I actually raised my voice, when one man pushed past me nearly knocking me over just so he could get onto the escalator before me. But, that plus blocking him with my cane and saying we are all waiting seemed to work very efficiently. šŸ˜‰

I was able to tolerate approximately four hours of being upright with a stop for breakfast, and then the short walk to the Louvre and then about 3 hours there before I realized I was borrowing spoons; time to go rest before dinner.

We are still working very hard to raise additional funds to help pay for the surgery. Although we have raised over $8300, the total cost of the entire trip plus the surgery will be well over $45,000. Every little bit helps and we appreciate all funds that you're willing to donate.
Operation Dragonfall
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I know that I almost never post here, it's mostly just out of sheer laziness it's not even that I post everything on Facebook, I just don't post that much anymore. However, I wanted to keep all of my friends up-to-date and I know that there are several that have jumped off of the Facebook ship for good. I want you all to know that about eight months ago answered my back by simply then do you know over to pick a chanterelle mushroom the day after Thanksgiving. I had to be basically carried out of the woods and put into the car. By the time we got home I couldn't walk and had to be carried into the house. I have spent the last eight months basically bedridden on a merry-go-round of doctors visit, physical therapy, chiropractor, x-ray, doctors visit, physical therapy, chiropractor, different type of x-ray, steroid injections, shingles resulting from the steroid injections, doctors visits, and then finally on my birthday I had an MRI and it showed why the physical therapy, chiropractor and steroids weren't working. I have degenerative disc disease and currently L4/5 and L5/S1 are in a serious state of degeneration, herniation and are completely desiccated. So that's the bad news. The good news is that there is a surgeon in Germany who pioneered the technique of multilevel artificial disc replacements and has taught most doctors who perform this technique around the world. The other piece of bad news is that the FDA has only approved single level artificial disc replacement and my insurance will only cover that. So it would be impossible for me to get the multiple level/2 level disc replacement in the United States. However, this is the best part of the news, the German surgeon who pioneered the technique has accepted me as one of his patients and on August 25th, I will be having surgery. Of course, my insurance won't pay for it and so we have been raising funds to help pay for the travel and surgery. Stephen gets into that a little bit more down below so I'll just let you read what he had to say in his most recent update.

From Stephen:


That thought blows my mind. Thanks to all of your help, we've managed to book all our travel and keep our household afloat in the meantime. Jennifer has received her (semi-emergency) two root canals, and crown, and medical tests and medication refills. I've cleared my responsibilities with work and have my time off approved.

We still need help, our total expenses for travel and surgery are well over $50,000. Our goal is to raise only $30,000 because we believe we can cover the remaining expense through loans. We sold one of our cars. We saved $2000 by finding a better currency exchange with which to remit payment and we're staying with family as much as possible to reduce hotel costs. We are headed up to Portland tomorrow morning (Wednesday), and will stay there for a few more days of work for me. We will fly off Saturday morning for Newark and then on to Paris and after two days of rest, onward to Berlin.

Please, if you are planning to give or give again, now is a great time. We'll have paychecks and partial dental reimbursements coming in over the next month, but up-front expenses can make this really hard. Thank you ever so much, and wish us luck in our travels. If you want to help us but are unable to donate or give any money towards our cause, please share this message with your friends, family or anyone who may have some loose change in their pocket that they want to share to help a person get their life back.

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Daishin-in Temple, Myoshinji, Kyoto, Japan
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