Andrea Kopczynski Peterson, daughter of Barbara and Ed Kopczynski, is suffering from Scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease. Andrea grew up in Ras Tanura and Dhahran along with her sister Erica and brother Patrick who died in 2010 and whose two children Andrea and her husband Craig have taken in to raise as their own along with their four children.
Doctors in the United States essentially gave Andrea no hope, had no plan to treat the disease and told her she might live another five years. This prognosis was not acceptable to her or the family so they have now made the decision to bring Andrea to a clinic in Mexico. The family has been in Mexico for three weeks and Andrea is making amazing progress. She weighed 98 pounds when she arrived, could barely walk, had very limited use of her hands and was in constant pain. She is now walking better, has much more energy, has more mobility in her limbs and has gained fourteen pounds. While Scleroderma is not curable it is controllable and the objective is to get to the point where Andrea can again live a much more normal life than she has experienced during the last two years. Andrea is expected to be treated at the clinic for about nine weeks altogether. Her family remains close by for support.
While much less expensive than treatment in the U.S., the costs are still substantial and insurance does not cover any of the medical treatment. Andrea's family has started a GoFundMe campaign to help in covering Andrea’s medical costs and living expenses. Any donations go directly to cover these costs and are not used to cover the family's expenses. Her family, as caregivers, are paying their own way.