Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mitch Simmons and Family - Fundraising Campaign Day 1

Mitch Simmons and Family - Fundraising Campaign Day 1:
Started yesterday raising money for Mitch Simmons and his family. Please watch the video on GoFundMe, donate what you can, and share with your family and friends. Your prayers and support are very appreciated.

I’d like to introduce you to one of my great friends – Mitch Simmons

I’ve known Mitch since we attended Dakota Junior High together in Rapid City, South Dakota. Mitch had just moved from Memphis and we became fast friends. Actually, there is a group of 5 of us, Mitch, Kenny, Garrett, Kelly and myself who have been close friends since Junior High.

We all attended high school together, where Mitch was an All State running back who helped Stevens High School win their only State Title in football in 1988. After graduating, we all went our separate ways, but kept in contact. Eventually, Mitch joined me at the University of South Dakota and Mitch, my older brother and I ended up being roommates there for two years…and my brother was added to the group of 5.

Mitch is the one of the strongest men I have ever known - both mentally and physically. When his mom passed away in high school, Mitch handled it with a grace and strength that I can’t fathom to this day.

With his mom’s passing, Mitch was adopted by all of our parents and over the years all of us became more like brothers than friends…attending weddings, funerals and other major life events.

Mitch went on to get his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Black Hills State University and in 2008 received his Doctor of Education degree from Arizona State University.

Mitch also met the love of his life while in Arizona, Jennifer. They were married and have built a life and family together – having 3 boys:  Hayden (8), Connor (6) and Mason (3).  Mitch worked his way up with the Scottsdale Unified School District, reaching the level of Director of Federal Programs and Career & Technical Education.

Unfortunately, during this same time, Mitch was beginning to have severe migraine headaches and shooting pain in his face that only got worse over time.  Pain which could only be described as “the worse pain a human can experience”.

From this pain it was discovered that Mitch has Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia (ATN)

This disorder is regarded by many medical professionals to comprise the most severe form of chronic pain known in medical practice and sometimes is described as the most excruciating pain known to humanity.  The disorder has thus acquired the unfortunate and possibly inflammatory nickname, "the suicide disease".

In Mitch’s own words from a few months ago:
“Every second I am awake, I am in pain. The pain is on the left side my face and on the left side of my head around the incision site where a hole was made in my skull in an attempt to stop the neurological pain. The surgery was unsuccessful and it appears to have made this disorder worse. I also experience incredible painful electric like shocks that hit the left side of my face and will often shoot down into my hand.
I share this not for empathy, but to help spread the word about this awful neurological disorder. My wife and kids keep me going and I am thankful for the blessings God has given me.”

Because of this neurological disorder Mitch has been unable to work the last few years.  Thankfully, Mitch has Long Term Disability payments to help with day-to-day expenses, but from surgeries, doctors visits and still supporting a family of 5…it’s just not enough.

So let’s help Mitch by spreading the word about ATN, and please help his family by donating.

Donations to Mitch and his family will go to pay medical bills and the costs associated with his neurological disorder.

So please, if you’ve ever had a close childhood friend that you’d do anything for…donate. If you can help support a family with 3 young children…please donate. If you’d like to help ease the pain of a devoted husband and father…please donate.

Your prayers and support are very appreciated.

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