Friends to hold fundraiser for an ailing Mindy Martin
March 2, 2012
Mindy Martin, a medical assistant and X-ray technician at the Park City Clinic, likes to take care of people.
She is the one who takes the blood, puts on the splints and takes the X-rays of people who visit the clinic after suffering minor injuries on the ski slopes or hiking trails.
"I like to take care of people and help them have a good day on their bad day," Martin said with a smile during an interview with The Park Record. "I love my job."
Unfortunately, even Martin needs someone to take care of her, because she has been diagnosed with Idiopathic Gastric Intestinal Motility and Digestive Disorder.
"Basically, my digestive system stopped working," she said. "It’s not paralyzed, though. It’s spasming and it isn’t just the stomach, but it has affected the esophagus through the intestinal track."
Martin can’t eat solid food. If she does, a few days later her body regurgitates the undigested morsels, because her stomach isn’t producing any acid.
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So, to try to keep nutrients in her body, she has been pureeing vegetables and fruits.
"When you can’t do fats, sugars or all those things that bring in the high calories because your body is rejecting them, then you do liquids," she said. "I can only take ¼ cup at a time, because it has to make it through the esophagus, and sits in the stomach and slowly seep its way through, but sometimes I just want to chew something."
Unfortunately, the doctors who have examined Martin are stumped, she said. They don’t know how to cure her.
"They’ve ruled out other digestive disorders such as Crohn’s Disease and various stomach cancers, so I’m a fun little mystery case, which caused my insurance company to drop coverage," she said. "Since my condition doesn’t allow me to work full time, I don’t get insurance coverage that way, either."
To help Martin and her parents with the medical bills, her friends and family are holding a fundraiser on March 8, at the new Park City Clinic, 750 Round Valley Rd., at Quinn’s Junction.
The event will feature Utah musicians Erin Marie Lewis and Sam King, Curt Rust and Paula Eden.
"These are friends who are coming in from Provo and Salt Lake to play, and we’re trying to find Park City-area artists to perform as well," Martin said.
Martin’s friends, who live around the country, donated the silent-auction items, which include Atlantis Charter’s shipwreck scuba diving tours and a deep-sea fishing excursion from friends who live in New Jersey.
Locally, Nope Snowboards donated a snowboard for the auction and Matt Spencer, an international fashion photographer will donate a fashion shoot that will include the make-up and allows the purchaser to pretend to be a supermodel for a day.
"We’re still looking for more donations for the auction," Martin said.
This is the third time Martin has been hit with a form of the digestive disorder.
"The first time it happened it lasted 20 days, and the second time it lasted for nine months," she said. "This time, I caught it earlier, because I had gone on a vegan diet and started noticing it was getting hard to move things out of my system.
"That’s when I started recognizing the signs that happened previously," she said.
Ironically, the new symptoms began the day she paid her last medical bill for the previous attack.
"The last time this happened to me, I was hospitalized," she said. "I was fortunately overweight when it happened, but within 20 days, I dropped 70 pounds, so when it started again in November, I was at a healthy weight and I started to worry, so I decided to face this thing head on, because I decided I’m not going to drop down to 80 pounds again like I did last time."
When the new spasms began, doctors thought of using a feeding tube, but Martin’s small intestine wasn’t moving, so the tube would have caused more damage.
"When the different sections spasm, it causes a charley horse, because the sections sometimes work against each other," Martin explained. "If the tube would have been put in, the process would have perforated my bowels."
Regardless of the pain, which Martin described as similar to having the stomach flu, influenza and an alien trying to crawl out of her stomach, she tries to put her best face forward by grinning and bearing it.
"Since I’m not digesting food, my body is in starvation mode and I’ve got the lactic acid burning through all the muscles," she said. "I’ve decided that my body has turned zombie and is eating me first."
Joking is a way for Martin to face the pain.
"I was blessed with a cheerful disposition and a high pain tolerance, and I’ve heard that other people are going through something similar and that this is happening more frequently, but doctors don’t know what to do," she said. "If I can go through all the tests and finally figure out what this is, I can help these people who are having a harder time than I am."
Friends and family will hold a silent auction and benefit concert for Mindy Martin at the Park City Clinic, 750 Round Valley Rd., on Thursday, March 8, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event will raise money to help cover her medical costs and help pay for tests. Donations can also be dropped off at Frontier Bank, 1630 Short Line Rd., account 14469. To donate via Paypal, email email@example.com . For more information, call (435) 783-5000