UPDATE September 15th:
Karla’s mother just updated Discover Ferndale about the upcoming event. It has sold out and they have more auction items than they know what to do with. “The support from the community has been nothing short of overwhelming,” said Kendy Stoebe. Karla’s first of three surgeries is scheduled for tomorrow.
It is a relief to be fundraising toward a known realistic solution after years of wandering from doctor to doctor and following treatment after treatment.
Ferndale locals, Kendy and Bill Stoebe and their adult daughter, Karla Marsh, have spent the last eight years going from doctor to doctor seeking a means to deal with challenges in Karla’s ability to breath. Her condition has been diagnosed as severe and resistant asthma. The years have been full of hospital stays, emergency room visits, ambulance rides, tests, specialists and a trip to Denver to a respiratory specialty hospital for 10 days of assessments.
Marsh grew up and went to school in Ferndale, graduating from Ferndale High School. Since then, she has married and is raising two daughters of her own.
Two years ago they became aware of a procedure, bronchial thermoplasty (BT), that, according to Kendy Stoebe, has been done successfully since 2000 and has received FDA approval. Using radiofrequency technology, BT thins and opens the smooth muscular airway walls eliminating their ability to constrict during an asthmatic attack.
But insurance companies are not willing to provide coverage for the procedure calling it “experimental” since it has not been FDA approved for at least ten years. According to Marsh’s GoFundMe.com page,
Although this surgery has been practiced for 10 years and FDA approved for the last 5, our insurance company is denying us coverage calling it “experimental.” In spite of an endorsement by the American Lung Association, and the surgery currently being successfully performed in over 25 countries including right here at our local hospital, our insurance company still calls it “experiemental.” Two top pulmonolists in the state have said I am an excellent candidate and continue to help in the fight to appeal my insurance company.
Hence the need to raise the money required for the procedures and recovery.
At the time of this article, the GoFundMe page showed $14,300 received with a goal of $75,000.
The first procedure has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 16th. Which means Karla will be home recovering while a fundraiser will be held on her behalf on Saturday, September 19th. The silent auction, dessert dash and spaghetti dinner fundraiser will be held from 4pm to 8pm at Bellingham Covenant.
Tickets can purchased for $10 each from Calico Country at 1722 Front Street (Fairway Center) in Lynden or by emailing the Stoebe’s at email@example.com.