After many years of having to give up dreams, I refuse to give up this dream. I'm asking for help spreading the word about my fundraising campaign to help make my dream of having a baby come true. My name is Melanie and I have not been dealt the kindest of cards in this game of life. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at age 4 and by age 6 I had to have a total colectomy. Then at age 18 while away at college I experienced severe pain to the point where I couldn't walk, sit, stand, or lay down without being completely miserable. Doctor after doctor after physical therapist all told me I had no reason for the back and hip pain and was just drug seeking. Even given my previous history of UC doctors wouldn't believe my pain. So after 3 cortisone injections (within 6 weeks) in my SI joints that only gave me temporary relief the pain doctor finally referred to me to rheumatology where I was immediately given the diagnosis of AS. With my colectomy at a young age I had surgery at age 20 to remove my right fallopian tube and scar tissue and was told by my GYN at that point that it would be very difficult to get pregnant. I am now 30 and according to the perinatologist it is no longer safe for me to carry if I were to have in-vitro because of my age and prior health issues. Due to complications from the TNF inhibitors (cellulitis and drug induced lupus) I am now living with the pain and getting SI joint injections as needed. I have also had multiple pleural effusions and a blood clot. My amazing boyfriend and I are dreaming of having a baby using a surrogate, and I am not willing to back down. Please read our story at The more views we receive on our campaign the better chance we have of getting our story featured on their page.
Thank you all!
Best of luck to all of you on your journey with AS

Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (age 4), total Colectomy 1991
Diagnosed with AS 2003 (age 19)
Past Tx: Humira (2004) and Enbrel (2004), developed cellulitis from both. Remicade (2004-2014), developed drug induced lupus. Sulfasalazine (2014-2015), not controlled and developed bruising and pruritis at higher doses.
Current Tx: massage, pain meds PRN, cortisone injections into SI joints PRN
Other: hx of multiple pleural effusions, chronic pleurisy, hx of DVT right arm, chronic migraines, PFO