Have you ever noticed that people with giving hearts tend to find each other. One of our volunteer firefighters, Nick Bourdoumis, has found that match in Mikaela Aschoff. Mikaela, better known as Mik, has spent much of her young life helping others in spite of her own debilitating condition. Nick and Mik recently got engaged and their greatest wish is to be able to get through her diagnosis together and live a normal life as man and wife.
“Mik’s hope is that she could walk down the aisle on her own and stand by herself at her wedding,” says her mother Keri.
Mik, now 20-year-old, was diagnosed with dysautonomia in 2011. This illness is largely unknown and attacks her autonomic nervous system leading to symptoms like fainting and extreme fatigue among other things
“I’m in pain, migraines,” describes Aschoff. “Sometimes seizures if it’s really bad.”
In spite of finding herself in the midst of her own fight, Mik founded a charity to send care packages to chronically ill teens and young adults who were hospitalized or housebound. This effort has now grown into to a prom night for teens who are too ill to attend their own.
But now Mik is the one who needs the help. Her team of doctors has identified a last-ditch stem cell treatment that has the potential to reduce or eliminate her debilitating symptoms. This treatment isn’t cheap and she and Nick are now reaching out to the community they have served to ask for assistance.
“This honestly (is) my last hope of getting a chance at a semi-normal life,” adds Mik.
The Aschoffs are hoping to raise $50,000 to pay for the pre-work, procedure, and travel associated with the stem cell treatment. They have set up a GoFundMe account with for those who want to help or simply find out more about this disease and Mik’s fight. If you’d like to help or learn more about Mik Aschoff’s charity click on one of the links below.
KPRC recently did a piece on Mik’s story. Check out the video at the top of the page.