A Forsyth County deputy’s wife who suffers from a debilitating bladder condition is trying to find a treatment for the disease, and her friends have joined in the cause.
In 2005, Amy Evers was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, or IC, a chronic condition that causes bladder pressure, pain and a frequent urge to urinate.
Also known as painful bladder syndrome, the ailment is similar to Crohn’s disease — a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines that causes bowel issues — but for the bladder, said Kelly Hayworth, Evers’ friend.
“A lot of times, the pain is just 24/7,” Hayworth said. “Chronic pain like that weighs on you. Not only is it painful, but it’s exhausting, and trying to maintain somewhat of a normal lifestyle is hard. [Evers] is in her 30s and has two young kids at home, and it’s just a chronic issue.”
While experts don’t know the exact cause of IC, doctors believe it may be similar to other autoimmune conditions, where the body’s immune system attacks the bladder, causing extreme pain for some.
Because the disease is less well-known, no cure exists, and Evers has been through almost every treatment imaginable.
Recently, she found a California doctor who specializes in IC and who may have a cure, and Hayworth said she is trying to help Evers get there.
“With her husband being with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, I just thought maybe the community could rally around her a little bit,” she said.
The doctor, who is based out of Rancho Mirage, California, is one of Evers’ last hopes, Hayworth said.
“She researched this and it looks like the best thing for her at this point to try to go for it,” she said. “[Evers] is the nursery director of our church and she’s taken it on and done such a great job with it — she’s just such a nice person. But [with IC], you just can’t function.
“It’s also kind of an embarrassing thing to say you have it. People are more familiar with bowel [diseases] and it’s more mainstream … it’s just more talked about. So I think she’s trying to get this more out in the open.”
The doctor, Elliot Lander, uses stem cell treatment to help his patients.
He harvests patients’ cells and re-injects them directly into their bladder, with the hope that they create a new, healthy bladder lining, providing relief and possibly even a cure for the disease.
Hayworth said she hopes the treatment works, and is trying to spread the word.
For more information on Evers’ disease and the treatment, visit gofundme.com/helpamyfightic.