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Donations sought for teen with rare neurological deficiency

By Staff | Nov 3, 2011

Donations are being sought for an 18-year-old who was diagnosed with a rare neurological deficiency to help pay for a needed surgery, along with other medical expenses.

After Raiza P. Estenssoro began experiencing blurry vision, weakness on her right side, difficulty with hearing and walking, she went to the doctor and was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation, otherwise known as AVM.

AVM is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels in the brain, which often occurs during embryonic or fetal development or soon after birth.

Maria Lonsdale, her older sister, said symptoms do not typically show until an individual is between 15-20 years old. She said when Raiza was first diagnosed the AVM was three centimeters in diameter and has since grown to six centimeters.

“She is very nice, kind and never tells you no to anything,” Lonsdale said about her sister. “She is a good girl.”

A stroke left Estenssoro without the ability to open and close her right hand, along with leaving her right side numb.

In order to stop the bleeding from occurring in her brain, Lonsdale said she had three palliative embolization procedures done, with the first one taking place Oct. 13. She said the procedure took five hours to do on three different days at Shands Healthcare in Gainsville.

Lonsdale said her sister has to make sure she keeps her blood pressure stable in order to decrease the chance of bleeding from occurring again.

Now Estenssoro needs to have radiosurgery done, which will cost the family anywhere from $60,000 to $80,000 because they do not have medical insurance.

In addition, the family also needs to raise money to send Estenssoro to physical therapy, refill prescriptions and provide her with psychological help.

“Having to go through this is too much for her,” Lonsdale said about her sister, the baby of the family. “It is very hard for her.”

The Cape Coral resident attends North Nicholas High School, but is having a difficult time because of her condition.

A raffle will be held in Naples Sunday to help the family raise additional funds to go towards the medical bills. So far, Lonsdale said they have 17 items for the raffle, which will cost individuals $5 per ticket.

The event will begin at 12 p.m. at Kermes located at 1386 Trail Terrace Drive.

Online donations can also be made by visiting www.giveforward.com/raizaperezestenssoroavmfight. As of Thursday afternoon donations have equaled $2,991, which will go towards the family’s medical expenses.

For those who have questions about the raffle or making an online donation, email Lonsdale at danielalonsdale@hotmail.com.