Fridrich Family Fundraiser

No words can describe your feeling when you have to watch your beloved spouse slowly lose movement of her ams and legs and can not walk or stand on her own with difficulty of breathing without knowing why. Coach Keith Fridrich had to go through this devastating experience after numerous visits to the hospital until his wife, Dana, was finally diagnosed with Guillain- Barré syndrome in November, 2019.

  • Fundraiser Goal $30,000 Amount Raised to Date $7625 25.4%

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare neurological disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your nerves. This causes weakness and tingling in your extremities and, eventually paralyzing your whole body, even leaving the person unable to breathe independently leads to medical emergencies when not properly diagnosed and treated. Fortunately, most people eventually recover from the most severe cases of GBS with medical care and a long rehabilitative care although there’s no known cure for Guillain-Barré syndrome. 75% of people will recover from most of symptoms although people will continue to have some degree of weakness, numbness or fatigue.

Keith Fridrich has been a High School and Middle School tennis coach at Faith Lutheran since 2009 and has been coaching middle school – 6th grade Girls – basketball for the last four seasons as well. He and his wife Dana are proud parents of 11th grader Sarah, who is a member of the Honors Institute, the Fine Arts Conservatory Honors Musical Theatre class, the Honors Chamber Singers, and the Varsity Tennis team. Keith and Dana have contributed time, talent and funds to many Conservatory projects over the years, and are annual contributors to the yearly Fine Arts fundraiser.

When not coaching for Faith, Keith works for CG Technology as Training Manager and is a Teaching Pro at Darling Tennis Center, while Dana is a special educator with the Doral Academy group, currently at the Fire Mesa location.

Dana began feeling weakness in her legs in September 2019, and soon lost feeling in both her feet and hands. By November, she completely lost all ability to stand, walk, and control her hands. She was taken to UMC, where after a week and countless more tests, the team made diagnosis that Dana was suffering from Guillan Barre Syndrome. This neuromuscular afflicts only 3000 people a year in the United States, and Dana’s situation was complicated by the continued magnesium and potassium issues. The recovery time for GBS can take up to a year for severe cases.

Dana was released from UMC and into the care of Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital for Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy. Dana attended the five hours a day therapy at Encompass and the Fridrich family is happy to say that Dana was released from Encompass after exactly one month, on December 27th. She has made great progress and is now taking part in outpatient therapy four times a week, and doctors are encouraged that she will continue to improve steadily, thanks to her excellent work ethic and vigor for therapy. Sarah will be a Senior this year. One of traditions on the tennis team is for players and parents to go through a tunnel on Senior Night, and among many goals Dana’s goal is to WALK through that tunnel in September!

With that said, there are still many challenges left. Dana cannot work at this point and many not be able to for the remainder of the school year. Even though she is home, she needs 24 hour assistance for personal hygiene, eating, dressing, and other things. Dana has used up all of her paid time off for this school year, and will not be paid until she returns to work. If/when she does return to work she is going to need an electric wheelchair to get around, as she will not be able to be on her feet for the entire day, as building up endurance is a big issue for GBS patients. Keith is continuing to work and coach during this time and as such the family is going to need a home health aide to be with Dana whenever Keith or Sarah cannot be.

The purpose of this fundraising is to help Fridrich family financially and show our support in time of need. From ER visits, hospital stay to long- term care, medical expenses are significant. No amount is small to show our support. We pray that the Fridrich family can conquer the financial difficulties and focus on healing.

Thank you in advance and know that it is greatly appreciated! Please share this page

The Rising Stars Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that helps create athletic and educational opportunities for today’s youth, regardless of culture, ethnicity, class or ability.

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