Kenora family receives outpouring of support following rare diagnosis

A Kenora family thanks the community for their generosity after their GoFundMe page raised over $10,000.00 in 24 hours.

Julia Parnell, 28, has struggled with health issues for three years and, after being airlifted to Thunder Bay last year, was diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial hypertension, which causes pressure to build up around her his brain.

“She doesn’t really fit the usual demographics for this disease. They don’t know why this is happening to her. We’ve had various tests, medications and doctors, but we haven’t made any progress. She has lost a lot of weight and those who knows Julia knows she had no weight to lose. We all rely on her so much and have to be there when she needs it most,” says Julia’s partner, Josh Carlson.

The family intends to use the funds raised to send Julia “Juj” to the Mayo Clinic for a consultation to find a reason for her illness, as well as to offset any unforeseen costs.

“I think the Mayo Clinic is our first step to getting answers about what options are available to us. The only answers we’re getting now are, ‘I don’t know,’ ‘I’m not sure,'” It’s rare. “Julia was the absolute rock in our family and I owe her at least the same respect for doing it for her,” Carlson said.

Julia is mother to Evelyn, four, Audrey, seven, and stepmother to Isabella, 13.

“We’ve put our kids through a tough spot over the past few years and it breaks my heart. They deserve better,” he says.

Julia had to quit her job as a clerk because she was considered unable to work. She recently contracted COVID-19 and developed pericarditis leaving her bedridden.

“In the meantime, I have had emergency back surgery and am in the process of starting a new business after being forced into long term disability in 2020. As a primary breadwinner, this has obviously added to our stress,” Carlson said.

The GoFundMe page was originally posted on Tuesday morning and in just under 11pm the total exceeded the family’s original goal of $10,000.00. At the time of writing, the page sits at over $11,000.00.

“We haven’t been on social media for about five years, and we’ve been off the radar since our troubles started. Seeing how many people haven’t forgotten about us is awesome,”

“We have been completely overwhelmed with the support. I want to thank everyone, Julia feels the love! As a hoped-for added bonus, with all of your sharing, we have been introduced to a new doctor! Thank you all so very much! “, added Carlson

The Eternal Julia GoFundMe Page

Josh joined Wednesday’s Q Morning Show to tell us Julia’s story. Listen below.