I have a rare disease called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). The cause of CRPS is unknown and there is no cure. My CRPS was not controlled and was spreading from its original site to other areas of my body. I decided to see one of the leading experts in CRPS, Dr. Aradillos, at the Vincera Institute in Philadephia, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, I had a major problem, how would I travel from my home to Philadelphia. It is a five hour drive from my home to the Vincera Institute. I am unable to drive five hours due to my medical problems. Plus, how would I financially pay for frequent travel to Philadelphia. I asked a local agency where I live what services were available for transportation and was referred to Angel Flight East (AFE). I contacted AFE and my first flight to Philadelphia was in June 2015. Since that time AFE pilots have flown my mom and I every eight weeks to Philadelphia where I receive infusions specific for CRPS and injections at the Vincera Institute.
It is not uncommon for individuals with CRPS to develop secondary diseases and complications. Vincera Institute does not specialize in my secondary condition. Therefore, Cleveland Clinic was added to my treatment plan. Now, in addition to my flights to Philadelphia, AFE pilots fly me every 3-4 months to Cleveland where I receive specialized treatment at the Functional Medicine Center and the Center for Functional Bowel Disorders.
Three years ago, when I had my first flight, my disease was progressing and I figured within a few years I would lose my ability to walk. But due to the dedication and help from AFE, the treatments I currently receive give me a quality of life I didn’t dream possible. Plus, I can still walk! I am blessed and thankful beyond words for the dedication, time, support and love from AFE.
Norine Yvonne Tallini