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Michelle was born without eyes. She needs help.
$430 Raised
14% of $3k goal
11 contributors
0 days left
Ended Mar 20, 2014
Michelle wrote this herself, in a memoir in progress called, "The Messenger Unveiled" Her own words say this much better than I could: "Birth
Born 1/14/86
I was born at Saginaw General Hospital in Saginaw, MI at 5:45AM ...
More ...

Michelle wrote this herself, in a memoir in progress called, "The Messenger Unvieled."  Her own words say this much better than I could:

Born 1/14/86
I was born at Saginaw General Hospital in Saginaw, MI at 5:45AM on
At approximately 4 hours old, I was taken by ambulance from Saginaw General to Motts Children's Hospital nearly 2 hours South in Ann Arbor.  I had a cleft lip and palate, a club foot, and no eyes at all, only eye sockets and the ends of optic nerves where the eyes should have been. They just snipped them and went on their merry way. For the entirety of my mother's pregnancy, from the time I could swallow, I was drinking all her amniotic fluid, and by all rights should have been dead.

After I was born, the doctors took me from her and Dad immediately without so much as a glimpse. When asked why, as they had agreed to let her hold me on her stomach for the first 5 minutes for bonding, they informed her that yes, in fact, there was something wrong with me.
She spent the next few hours begging for them to let her see me. When she persisted even after they'd done her operation (to sew her up from the birth), they stuck her in a room with low light and gave her some
valium to calm her. She continued begging until they finally relented, but when she and Dad did get to see me, I was in a glass isolet so they couldn't touch me, just look.
She was in to much shock to really respond, but she said that Dad: "buried his face in my shoulder and howled like a wounded animal." She said it sounded inhuman.

After, they were both given the chance to hold me, but not for long.  According to her, I cried when she held me, but as soon as Dad took me I "shut right up!" She was always annoyed when she recalled that. She, Dad, and Grandma tried to pool their money to have me sent to Ann Arbor, but they didn't have enough, so grandma just wrote a check that was sure to bounce.

After I was sent to Ann Arbor by ambulance, she couldn't see me until the weekend, Saturday I think. I met up with Dr. Argenta, but ovbiously since my parents weren't there, they don't know all of what happened in-between those times. Mom used to call down every day until she was able to come see me and beg them to give me a hug and a kiss from her, and tell me that she loved me.  When they got home, she even had to have Dad remove my playpen, because she couldn't stand seeing it out. She just couldn't understand why every other mother got to take their child home, and she couldn't. When she, Dad, and Grandma could finally come, I instantly pulled out my feeding
tube they'd had sustaining me. One of the nurses put it back in, but I pulled it out again, and they decided that I must be trying to tell them something.

They had to give my parents these special bottles with special nipples on them that would control the flow of the formula I was given. I couldn't suck, so breastfeeding was out of the question. With the special bottles they had, you had to be careful to do it just right or I'd either choke,
or not get enough so it was a major balancing act.

I used to spend months at a time in the hospital for different operations, and when that happened, Mom wouldn't leave me for anything. Dad would drive from Saginaw all the way into Ann Arbor and stay overnight during the week sometimes, just so they could be together, and so he could see me.  On the weekends, he'd do the same, staying in the hospital from Friday
until Sunday, or maybe even Monday morning. He'd have to get up in the wee hours of the morning just to make it
back for work.

I was in a room with 3-4 other babies, so Mom rarely slept, because if my monitor wasn't going off, someone else's was, and she wouldn't leave them just because they didn't belong to her. She's always said that if any of the doctors had told her that she could leave the hospital with ANY baby, she still would have walked over to my crib and chosen me out of all of them.

The nurses even had a chart where they'd keep track of what my parents did. When did they feed me, change my diapers, etc, to ensure that they were looking after me. One particularly offensive nurse asked them if I had a name, basically asking if they would keep me, and Mom
exploded on her.  "Yes, she has a name!! Lisa Michelle!!!"

Mom tells stories of how they'd be shopping and people would start following them through the store. When ever my parents would stop to look at something, the people would stop too, and PRETEND to be looking at things, but what they were really doing was looking at me.  And, I suppose, who can blame them? Some child with her face open, no eyes, wouldn't you be looking too? So, that's how I've always seen myself, as a freak, an oddity that belongs in the side show at the circus. I still feel that way 20 years on."

At this point, Michelle lives on her own, and is working hard to make it as an independent adult.  She struggles with the hardships every 20-something does, in addition to the specific difficulties that accompany her disabilities. She is a sweetheart, and recently posted the following need list to facebook, not for charity, but to get a co-signer on a loan:

"I need an Upgrade the JAWS software on my computer which is $500, bring my stuff home from Boulder Co (clothes, dishes, DVDS, CDS, bedding and so forth. I currently pay $48 on a storage unit, so while it's costly to move it home, it would cut out that wasted $48 per month I pay now) and it'd be approx. $1,000 to bring it home, pay off old debt $500 to a former teacher of mine, $233 for Comcast is another and $200 for Charter is the third debt, as well as pay off this house so it's mine ($600 is the cost) and once paid off I will only have to pay $250 per month in lot rent, and approx. $200 for Consumers, because they neglected to send out a bill for January! I called them Thursday or Friday and they had to guestimate it since they weren't sure yet.
All in all, if I could pay off the house and bring my stuff home that would be saving me $98 per month in bills.
I realize money can be a touchy subject, so thank you all in advance for reading. — "  

Her total is only $3,000, but I hope to raise $4,000 to help with future expenses, such as the higher utility bills many are encountering due to frigid temperatures and snow storms in her area of the USA.

I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for every dollar you donate to this amazing young woman. She has a heart and soul that humble me, and if we can help her through this, get her out of this slump that is causing depression and an overwhelming thought of just giving up, the knowledge that so many people care will alter her forever.  She needs our support and generosity.  We need her here, healthy and writing, because I have read part of her memoir, and I know we can expect great things from Michelle Medina.  She is a voice that should be heard.  

In gratitude,

Suzanne Rolph-McFalls

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