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My name is Ria Fincham and I am 27 years old. In September, 2012 I was diagnosed with Neuro Myelitis Optica (NMO) and prior to that I suffered two attacks of Transverse Myelitis — the second episode left me paralyzed with only the use of my neck and left arm/hand.

Prior to my diagnosis I was working as a sales supervisor for a tech support company. I had taken a break from college because I realized that I wanted to become a respiratory therapist and my plan was to finish getting my AA and then continue schooling to become a Respiratory Therapist. However, I needed to save money for school so I worked 10 hour days and took open shifts. My goal was to use my savings, along with grants, scholarships, or loans to pay for my schooling. Unfortunately, I suffered my first attack in July, 2012 and ended up having to use all of my savings to pay my bills, insurance premiums, and for the travel to and from UCLA.

Updates (7)

July 15, 2014

Sorry I haven't kept you guys posted this past week I had my infusion for IVIG (donated human anti-bodies) and that went off on the last day I had a reaction to the steroid given with the IVIG. I got hives and felt really high luckily I didn't have to use my shock kit or EPI Pen. I just took more Benadryl. This past Friday I had Speech Therapy. Aaron, the speech therapist, is making me feel more confident I can manage my short term memory loss. So it was a bit comforting to hear. On Saturday I went to a place called the "Garage" I was a bit hesitant to go based on the name lol. However, one of my favorite local bands was playing so I think I needed the positive energy after such a trying week.

July 6, 2014

I had therapy at rehab on my elbows and forearms the day before yesterday. Paige, my OT, put steroid patches on my inner elbows. The patches have steroids that help relieve the pain and strengthen the elbows. Although I know it's helping, I worry because our visits are limited. 4th of July was ok but I missed most the fireworks. My family bbqed and as always my mom out-did herself the food was delicious. :-)


August 3, 2015

Ria you are one of my most close and best friends I pledge to donate my entire 5th paycheck I make with the Marriott in Oxnard in order to reach your goals!! I love you so much as I said before we are all in this together and we will c u well again and walking before you know it!!! Talk to you soon my love!!!!

Scott Christopher Hylton

July 18, 2014

Keep fighting! My daughter told me about your struggle. I will share your plight and encourage my friends to help too. Bless you,

Tracie Neyman

July 8, 2014

Healing prayers for you along with joy, peace & comfort!

Yvonne Quillin