PUBLISHED: 2:49 PM on Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Medical fund-raiser held for young woman in need

Courtesy photo
  Krista Messing, diagnosed with Hirschsprung's disease, is being cared for at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Wash.
Most young women are looking or hope to eventually work at jobs that provide medical insurance; nonetheless, it's often viewed as a long-term goal. And, most young women don't expect in life what 20-year-old Krista Messing of Juneau is experiencing currently. On Saturday, Oct. 14, she was awakened with a distressing and severe medical emergency, and rushed via ambulance to Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Messing's colon ruptured and she went into emergency surgery.

Doctors were able to stabilize her sufficiently and medivac her to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Wash., after several hours of waiting, and Messing nearly died.

She is receiving intensive medical treatment in the trauma unit and bravely fighting for her life.

Physicians have diagnosed her with Hirschsprung's disease, a congenital disorder of the megacolon. For other victims, this disease is normally discovered and corrected in infancy. "It is a miracle she has made it this far," her family said.

Messing has no medical insurance. The costs from her medical expenses will be substantial in addition to the future cost of care depending on her outcome.

Helping Krista Messing

Auction, food and dessert contributions:

Keela Kelly: 789-9699

Karen Schanz, DC: 723-9322

Kathy Messing: 789-0360

Financial donations:

Denali Alaska Federal Credit Union

c/o Krista Messing Medical Fund Account

9101 Glacier Hwy Juneau, AK 99801

(907) 789-1350

Health update Web site:

Mailing address:

Harborview Medical Center

325 Ninth Ave

Seattle, WA 98104

"Krista is stable right now. She still needs help breathing; she is semi-conscious and really isn't aware of where she is and what has happened," said her aunt, Keela Kelly.

She also describes her niece as having a beautiful and giving personality with blue eyes and a bright smile.

"We figure she has been in a lot of pain over the years and never complained or took it out on others," Kelly said.

Messing means everything to her family, and they're putting forth tremendous effort by supporting her through this life-threatening experience. Her parents, Kathy Schanz-Messing and Martin Messing, reside in Juneau along with her three aunts, who have organized a medical fundraiser. The event will take place from 5:30-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18 at Riverbend Elementary School. The fundraiser includes a taco feed, with most food donated by community members, a dessert auction and a silent auction. The ticket cost is $10 per person or $30 per family.

Numerous local businesses and people in the community are providing donations for the silent auction. Donations include whale watching trips, plane tickets from Wings, dinner for six with Kim and Marylou Elton, clothing, restaurant gift certificates, handmade gourmet dog biscuits, artwork including three Rie Muñoz prints, jam/jelly baskets, fish tank with accessories and more. For the dessert auction, donators are preparing handmade delicious treats.

"If people aren't able to attend the fundraiser they can certainly drop off desserts or silent auction donations at her house on Friday or Saturday before the event," said Messing's other aunt, Kathy Messing, who is in charge of the dessert auction. For financial donations, the public can also contact Denali Alaska Federal Credit Union.

Messing means everything to her family and is very much loved by all, states Kelly. Her family in Montana are planning their own fundraiser by having a raffle to give away a horse. A Web site has been created to keep the public informed of Messings's progress and posts daily personal updates from her family.

While Messing has had some medical problems over the years with her large intestine, she did not know she had Hirschsprung's disease.

"If anything we would like to get information out about Hirschsprung's disease, so people are aware of the symptoms and maybe this won't have to happen to someone else," Kelly said.