A Prayer for Kristie

I never want to see something like this happen to anyone.  Ever.

But when I received this video clip from a friend of mine via Facebook – well …


Once upon a time, a beautiful girl named Kristie Tunick fell in love with the man of her dreams, a guy named Brian Mendenhall.  They got engaged and they spent all their time together.

Then, about four years ago, something started to happen to Kristie.  She thought it was a stomach virus.  It wasn’t.  She began to suffer from painful muscle tightness, to the point where her body just completely locked up.

She was profiled in 2009 on an episode of 20/20, and featured on the ABC News website.  Her story was told in the Las Vegas news media. She became a medical mystery. There were thoughts that Kristie was suffering from multiple sclerosis, or from a neurological disorder known as stiff person syndrome. The fact is, nobody knows what is causing Kristie’s body to seize up and shut down.

Her boyfriend Brian quit school to take care of Kristie full-time.  He’s been with her in health, and he stays by her side in sickness.  No one can ask more than that.

But now things are getting worse.  From what I’ve been able to determine, her medical insurance has run out.  She has scars and blisters on her back from wearing an unpadded TENS unit, which is the only thing to keep her from enduring excruciating pain.

There is a Facebook page devoted to Kristie; those who care about her, and those who may have never met her, are trying to spread the word about her condition, looking for anything that might help her.

Then came this plea from acclaimed makeup artist Kandee Johnson, in the form of a YouTube clip.

Anyone who wants to contact Kristie Tunick or Brian Mendenhall may do so through their e-mails, kristietunick@yahoo.com or bsixstring@yahoo.com. If someone knows a specialist in neurological disorders, or someone who can send a kind word of encouragement, anything. Or just pass the word along.

Maybe, just maybe, there’s a miracle waiting to happen.