Marine Suffers From Debilitating Illness
Lesley Van Arsdall
Moke Kahalehoe has been diagnosed with RSD or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. Because of it, he is in constant pain.
"The clothing I'm wearing right now causes is extreme burning, feels like a stabbing sensation, like lava with knives running through my body,” Kahalehoe said.
“I can maybe take a shower once every four days. The water is excruciating. Every drop feels like a knife,” he continued.
RSD can remain dormant in people for years and is usually discovered after a person is injured. For Kahalehoe, that injury came shortly after joining the Marines in 2005 when he fractured his ankle during a routine training exercise. His doctor said his only chance for a cure is an experimental treatment in Germany which will put him in a coma for up to a week.
"He says my RSD is so severe and progressing so fast he needs to get me to Germany,” Kahalehoe said.
Kahalehoe lives with his girlfriend Amanda Santacroce. They met when they were both in the Marines. She has since been honorably discharged after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
“I lost all my vision in my right eye while stationed with the Marines, and the V.A. discharged me with a pre-existing condition so I don't have any coverage right now," Santacroce said.
In addition to the couple's medical costs, they are trying to raise almost $200,000 for Kahalehoe to travel to Germany.
Right now, it is his only hope.
"I've exhausted every possibility here in the U.S., the only one left is in Germany," Kahalehoe said.
To help with medical costs and the trip to Germany, family and friends are holding a fundraiser for Kahalehoe this Saturday, June 30 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 920 Trenton Road, Fairless Hills, PA 19030. Tickets are $25 each.
Kahalehoe has also set up a fund at Commerce Bank in Fairless Hills. To contribute, make checks payable to "Benefit for Moke Kahalehoe". Send it to Commerce Bank at 624 S. Oxford Valley Road, Fairless Hills, PA 19030. Donations can also be made in person at the bank. The bank’s phone number is (215) 946-2841.
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