The Saucon Valley community is coming together to help raise money to pay for medical treatments a local woman battling a rare, life-threatening illness needs; treatments her insurance company has so far refused to cover, according to her family.
After being diagnosed with smoldering myeloma in 2014, Stacy Zimpfer of Lower Saucon Township was diagnosed with the illness she is now battling–AL Amyloidosis of her heart and small vessels–in October, following a near-fatal heart attack that occurred while she was driving.
“By God’s grace, her husband, Wally, was able to safely stop the car and perform CPR,” the GoFundMe page established on her behalf by her children states. “The combination of CPR and the use of an AED that was onsite saved her life. Stacy was immediately rushed to the local hospital, where a new team of doctors was able to assess her condition and accurately diagnose her.”
Wally Zimpfer is well-known as the longtime Supervisor of Campus Operations for Saucon Valley School District, and the couple’s children attended and graduated from Saucon Valley schools.
Stacy is a former nurse who was forced to retire early in 2017 due to the onset of symptoms of her illness, including extreme muscle fatigue throughout her body, the fundraiser page states.
According to MayoClinic.org, “amyloidosis is a rare disease that occurs when a substance called amyloid builds up in your organs. Amyloid is an abnormal protein that is produced in your bone marrow and can be deposited in any tissue or organ. … There’s no cure for amyloidosis. But treatments can help you manage your symptoms and limit the production of amyloid protein.”
The following is from the GoFundMe campaign page for Stacy Zimpfer:
After much research, we decided to begin treatment in Boston at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where they have one of the best Cardiac Amyloidosis specialists in the country. Stacy started weekly chemotherapy (CyBorD) over a period of 11 weeks in November 2018.
Her blood counts (free light chains) came down from 1,000 to 250, but plateaued at 250. As a result, the doctors decided to change her treatment plan to a different type of chemotherapy.
Stacy started Daratumumab (Dara) in February 2019. After only one treatment, her numbers dropped significantly from 250 to 38. At this level, Stacy is near remission. When she traveled to Boston for her second treatment of Dara, her doctor informed her that her insurance denied paying for treatment. Stacy and Wally along with the doctor have appealed this three times, but have been denied each time. The doctor even informed the insurance company of the severity of the situation and that Dara is the only life-saving treatment available because her heart condition makes her ineligible for other treatments. The cost of each treatment is $20,000 and she needs 10 immediately over the next three months and ongoing maintenance treatments once a month indefinitely.
Unfortunately, Stacy has been without treatments for two weeks, hoping the situation with the insurance company would be resolved. At this point, it does not look like it will be resolved. So, the only way for Stacy to receive the needed life-saving treatment of Dara is to pay out of pocket at the cost of $20,000 per treatment. We started this GoFundMe account in hopes of raising money to afford as much treatment as possible. Any amount would be greatly appreciated.
As of Monday morning, nearly $6,000 had been raised by approximately 50 donors toward a goal of $40,000, according to the GoFundMe page.
“Our family also needs prayer,” her children wrote on the page. “We believe we serve a mighty God and our faith, trust and hope is in Him.”