Family raising funds for girl suffering from unknown illness - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Family raising funds for girl suffering from unknown illness

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When a child is sick, there is nothing more a parent wants to do than make them feel better. So imagine the heartache and frustration. When doctors don't know what is wrong.

That's the case for 8-year-old Amy Hiestand, and she needs your help.

Friends and family who've watched little Amy suffer for months are trying to raise money to help pay for treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Florida.

Amy is a typical, energetic 8-year-old. However, since September, the Newnan second-grader has battled an undiagnosed illness that comes with crippling pain and other debilitating side effect, including chronic itching, numbness and instability.

"Her balance is shot. She gets stiff and gets really clingy and, at times, wants to just be there with me and it makes life really difficult," said Amy's mother, Tawny Hiestand.

Tawny Hiestand said that doctors have diagnosed her little girl with Lyme disease, lupus, swollen lymph nodes, digestive disorders and other ailments, but says they tell her no diagnosis is certain, plus nothing permanently relieves  the  bouts of chronic pain.
"She's got so many medication allergies and her body reacts so differently to different things that we have difficulty trying to find a treatment," Tawny Hiestand.

After three months with no answers, Amy's mother said one doctor from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta suggested they take her to the Mayo Clinic in Florida. She is trying to raise more than $10,000 to make that trip possible.

"There is a good chance that her costs can go over that, but all research that I've learned, I have to have that money before they will even see her since she doesn't have insurance that is accepted," Tawny Hiestand said.

Friends set up an Answers for Amy page on Facebook. It's a way for people to share their advice and experiences with unexplained pained disorders with Amy's mother. It's also how she updates friends on Amy's condition. She's accepts donations there too, but more than anything, they just want answers so that Amy can get up and get back outdoors.

"It's hard telling an 8-year-old baby, ‘I don't know. I don't know what is wrong, and I don't know how to fix you,'" Tawny Hiestand said.

Amy's friends and family will host a fundraiser on Saturday, January 4 at Joe Friday's Brick Oven Pizza from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. A portion of the proceeds earned that evening will go towards Amy's medical expenses. The restaurant is located at 3500 Hwy 34 East in Sharpsburg. For more information on how you can help, visit Answers for Amy on Facebook.

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