Bills piling up due to rare clotting disease

Kelsey checked in to the Mayo Clinic Monday, getting ready for surgery Wednesday.

A northern Michigan woman is getting ready for surgery at the Mayo Clinic.

Kelsey Clous, 21, has an unknown clotting disorder and has been in and out of hospitals for the past five years.

â??It's really, really scary,â?? said Carol Clous, Kelseyâ??s mother. â??She almost died that time and she's almost died eight times since then.â??

Most recently, Kelsey had a clot that tore an artery in her leg. Now doctors at the Mayo Clinic are finding a way to bypass the artery.

â??They have to re-route it from her left side over to her right and get some more circulation down into her right leg so she doesn't lose her leg,â?? said Clous.

â??It's always scary,â?? said Dylan Dontje, Kelseyâ??s fiance. â??You could lose her in one second. I just put on a smile and tell her I love you every night.â??

The first blood clot happened when Kelsey was 16. Her mom explained how, for a couple years, the longest streak she had been clot free was about 90 days. For the past two years, however, things had been looking up.

â??She's just been at risk all the time, so the only place she can go to be taken care of is Mayo Clinic. All of a sudden she clotted and split this artery. So we had to immediately drop everything and come out to Minnesota,â?? said Clous.

While Kelsey is getting ready for surgery, family members back at home are raising support by creating an online fundraiser.

â??We kind of kept it hush-hush from her because she doesn't like handouts. I told her I'd rather she get this extra money to have her be healthy,â?? said Dontje.

The expenses have really added up over the past five years, including medications, travel, and hotel stays.

â??I'm the only one that works and it's really hard to try to keep everything up between all of this, plus all of the medical bills and other things,â?? explained Clous.

â??I don't know how much altogether it's costing, but I know it's more than a small family can handle,â?? said Dontje.

Dontjeâ??s mother started a Plumfund account where people can donate.

If you'd like to help the family out, click here to visit the donation page. The family is grateful for all of the contributions so far.

â??It's really been amazing to see. We've been very thankful. We are not usually ones to ask for help,â?? said Clous.

Kelsey graduated from early Kingsley high school and is currently enrolled in classes at Harvard, working her way to become a doctor.

â??Her whole life she wanted to be a doctor. Her mom's an RN,â?? said Dontje.