Community rallies behind woman battling constant health issues

Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 11:43 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The community is rallying behind a South Bend woman who is battling never-ending health issues.

Jennifer Riddle has been a piano and vocal instructor in Michiana for over two decades.

She has helped and inspired many people, but now, she needs your help.

“I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which is a connective tissue disorder. My joints do not fit together correctly and they cause me a lot of pain...I also have autonomic dysfunction, which involves aortic root dilation,” said Riddle.

Riddle said she has been struggling with health issues since she was a teenager, but claims her symptoms have gotten worse over the past decade.

She has overwhelming exhaustion, increasing pain, is often bedridden, and can only teach for about two hours a day.

“I am trying to get to Mayo Clinic because all of my current specialists have kind of thrown up their hands...,” said Riddle.

While she has insurance, it will not cover the cost to see an out-of-town specialist.

That’s why community leaders, like Lynn Coleman, and local musicians, like Terry Austin, hosted a fundraiser for Jennifer back in December.

“To try to assist somebody that I think needs, and more importantly, deserves the help...It’s unfortunate that in this country we still have insurance and medical issues where every American can’t get the kind of treatment and help they need and deserve to have,” said Riddle.

If you would like to help Riddle, here is a link to her Go-Fund-Me Page.

“It all adds up. It doesn’t have to be a large amount, it just has to be a caring amount,” said Coleman.

“I am hoping that once I get well, or at least better, and get quality of life back that I can do things for the community...I can do volunteer work. I want to completely change my life around,” said Riddle.