Shelly Harris
Shelly Harris's Fundraiser

We can start research on Finding the Cure

Join me and help make a difference, please give today.

$135 towards $200

Help us find the cure for Dupuytren disease

Welcome to my fundraising page for the Dupuytren Foundation!

In September of 2015 I noticed a hard lump in the palm of my left hand. By October, that lump was accompanied by what appeared to be a hard cord running both above and below the lump. That same month I was diagnosed with Dupuytren's Disease, a genetic hand disease with the potential to cripple the hands and fingers of those affected. The lump was quickly joined by additional hard lumps and many more cords. I began searching the Internet for treatments or a cure while my rheumatologist referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon that specialized in hands. The surgeon referral was disappointing. I was advised to wait until my fingers were drawn down toward my palm and I was unable to straighten them and he would do surgery. I found this unacceptable to just watch my hands become progressively disabled. Online research lead me to various websites and groups of similarity affected patients to discuss options, treatment possibilities and the need to find a cure for a genetic disease that has existed for centuries with no way to stop the progression permanently or diagnose before symptoms become obvious.

In December 2015 I had radiation therapy to both my hands at OU Medical Center - Stephenson Cancer Center to attempt to slow, or temporarily halt,the disease progression. While this is a temporary halting process for most with Dupuytren's disease, it did not help my disease. Progression continued at a rapid rate.

Now, in September 2016, I am planning a trip soon to NJ to see a hand surgeon, Dr. Gary Pess, that specializes in Needle Aponeurotomy to release the growing cords in my hands that will cause contractures very soon. Those cords now involve every finger and thumbs of both my hands and it is progressively difficult to extend my fingers. Surgery on the hands of Dupuytren's patients should be held as an absolute last resort since surgery can pour gasoline to the fire of our body's over production of scar type tissue in our hands.

Having spent my life growing up on a farm, marrying and being a wife and mother, being an RN for many years, and enjoying hobbies and crafts utilizing my hands, I will not give in easily to progressive hand disease. I want to continue being as self-sufficient as possible. I want to hold my husband's hand, I want to hold our grandbabies, I want to turn the pages of my Bible. I also want to help fund the research of the Dupuytren's Foundation so that our son and daughter, and our precious grandchildren will not have to worry about this genetic disease that may be inherited from me.

Please know that a small donation will go a long way to helping me meet my goal for helping to find the cure. Your donation is not to me, but to the Dupuytren's Foundation for their research to find a cure! Let's find a cure now so future generations will be free of this disease!

Thank you in advance for your kindness.

Important links that have helped me:

Dupuytren's Disease Support Group DDSG

Dupuytren Foundation