Club's fundraising helps former student

By Peter Brooks - Staff Reporter



After months of struggling with a rare eye condition, former student and Psychology Club President Jessica Crane has made improvements thanks to a little help from her friends and donors.

A fundraiser started by the remaining Psychology Club members in spring raised about $500.

The goal was several thousand for surgery, but it still helped pay for hospital fees and medicine. This included appointments, MRIs, and andiograms.

"I'm very grateful to every- one, and my friends who constantly supported and reached out to me," Crane said.

Crane developed retinal vasculitis in March. Retinal vasculitis is inflammation of the vascular branches of the retinal artery.

"At first I got migraines and missed school, then I started to lose parts of my vision," Crane said.

"It was difficult to pinpoint what the problem was at first."

Attempts to raise money for Crane by the Psychology Club originally ran into some problems due to rules on campus for financing events.

The club wanted to have a bake sale, but was ultimately unable to hold it on campus since they couldn't find a faculty member to host it.

They decided to open a GoFundMe account instead.

"The goal was from about $1,200 to $2,000, but I'm very grateful I got anything," said Crane.

"It didn't nearly cover all the fees I spent from my savings, but it helps."

Crane said she's doing better after trying Prednisone, which reduces inflammation in the body.

Without it, her condition may lead to permanent damage, so she is still planning on using her savings for surgery in the future. The surgery will be to remove excess gel in her eye sockets, she said.

"It has many side effects like higher stress levels, and it affects speech. It's not meant to be used long term," said Crane.

"I'm not fully recovered but I am functional and currently attending the University of Washington," Crane said. "I'm interested in becoming a therapist or practicing clinician, but I became more interested in biology and anatomy of the brain and eyes from a cognitive perspective, since I'm already interested in psychology."

When looking back, Crane said she's happy to have attended Highline.

"I hold Highline in high regard and think starting out there and then transferring to UW helped a lot," said Crane.

"Highline helped me figure out what I want to do and get used to the water before I jumped in the deep end.

It opened up all these opportunities and possibilities that helped me get involved, like volunteer work and the Psychology club," Crane said.

"Before Highline I was just an O.K. student, but after I found things I was interested in, my motivation and grades shot up."

Things aren't completely fixed for Crane, but they're definitely looking up after getting help from donors.

"I want to thank everyone at Highline, and my friends and teachers," she said.

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If you want to join a club at Highline but have questions, visit the Club Fair next Tuesday. The fair will take place in the Mt. Constance room in Building 8. The fair will occur from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Jan. 23, and will have representatives from many of the clubs on campus.

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