Colorado

Dec 19, 2013 11:00 AM by Annie Snead

Fort Carson soldier's wife battles rare disease

A Fort Carson soldier's wife with a rare disease that has no known cure is trying to get to London for treatment.
Thanks to donations, she and her husband have raised enough for two months.
But the doctor there says they'll need at least ten months to see results.
"Last summer I lost my hearing, and ever since then it's just been symptom after symptom," said Melissa Klein.
One year ago her life changed forever.
At just 21-years-old, she was diagnosed with the mitochondrial disease: MNGIE (mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalopathy).
The symptoms came on fast.
Her husband Spc. John Klein says when they got the diagnosis: "There was only about 70 cases reported in the United States overall."
John also struggles with medical issues.
While in Afghanistan, he hit an IED.
Still: "My number one concern is her, I take care of her above everything else," he said.
Physically, Melissa is very weak and has a lot of nausea.
"I can no longer use my legs from the knee down," she said.
"It's hard, it's hard, I get very angry. (John: oh yeah) very upset about it, I think about why me?" said Melissa.
But she is pushing herself to spread the word, saying the more aware people are of this rare disease - the better.
"It won't cure it, but it will prolong my life a little bit longer," she said.
Treatment isn't cheap, at $6,100 a month.
After an article recently ran in The Gazette, donations poured in.
They now have enough for two months.
"I am in shock!" she said.
"It's just, it's overwhelming, it's really great that people care enough to help us," said John.
Now, the Kleins hope this treatment helps - if not Melissa -- than others.
"The more they know the better and if I get this treatment I'm just adding to the statistics, so I'll help in some way," she added.
If you'd like to donate, here's how.
Call a Wells Fargo bank and ask to donate to the "Melissa Klein Donation Fund"
Or check out the website http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-me-pay-for-my-mngie-treatment

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