Skip to content

Erin and DJ

Image description: The photo depicts DJ and Erin and their two children, Lila and Cooper.

On a terrifying day two years ago, Erin struggled to get her husband DJ—who was in intractable pain, and vomiting uncontrollably—in the car. But DJ was too sick to move any further, and Erin called an ambulance.

At the emergency room, DJ was diagnosed with necrotizing pancreatitis, a life-threatening condition in which part of the pancreas dies.

During his 18-day stay in the hospital, DJ’s doctors warned that if he started deteriorating rapidly, he’d need a complex emergency surgery—a surgery with only a 20% chance of survival.

“Those several days were the absolute worst of my life,” wrote Erin. Due to COVID-19 protocols, their two young children, Cooper and Lila, couldn’t visit their dad. “We used to drive to the parking lot, find his window, call him and wave to him.”

In the months since, DJ has needed more than 13 procedures, and he now has type 3C diabetes as a result of the massive pancreatitis damage. 

Throughout this excruciating time, Erin took care of her husband—administering his IV antibiotics and nutrition, managing his blood sugar and insulin levels—as well as their two children by herself. Friends and family could not help, because the risk of inadvertently infecting DJ with COVID-19 was too high. 

When Erin wrote to us, she felt crushed by the avalanche of anxiety and overwhelm the last year and a half had become, as did DJ, who was diagnosed with PTSD.

In addition to struggling with their mental health, Erin and DJ were barely making ends meet financially due to mounting medical expenses.

You, through Together Rising, paid off the outstanding medical bill from DJ’s hospital stay, enabling Erin and DJ to breathe a sigh of relief for the first time in a long time.

We are deeply grateful for you and the way you showed up for this precious family, as is Erin:

“I am in tears, and nearly speechless right now. Thank you can’t express our gratitude enough…this will matter in our daily lives. This will help lift a burden that much lighter, and we are so, so grateful…”

Thank you to TEAM LOVE—our recurring givers (of as little as $5 a month) that make it possible for us to step up for families like Erin, DJ, Cooper, and Lila’s!