Despite being told she has only months to live, Marie Allen of Fort Mill is determined to stick around for her family.
In January 2010, Allen, 34, was diagnosed with stage 5 congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood throughout the body. This past July, Allen said the doctors at Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte told her she has just months to live.
“I don’t believe that,” she said. “I’m a fighter.”
Allen said she has always had heart problems and has been fighting congestive heart failure for five years. Allen said she fights for her sons Dylan Hodge, 14, Carson McClimen, 10, and Ashton McClimen, 9, all of whom also have heart-related conditions.
“I have to have a positive attitude,” she said. “It’s just me and my kids.”
In February 2012, Allen was implanted with a left ventricle artificial device, which helps support blood flow and heart function and is meant to be a bridge to a heart transplant. However, Allen said her doctors recently determined that she is not a good candidate for a transplant.
Now, Allen relies on the device to keep her going. She describes it as “running on batteries.”
Allen also struggles financially as she is on disability and cannot work, she said. Allen said she faces losing her house in two weeks because of taxes. She is trying to raise the $2,500 she owes.
Despite the setbacks, Allen said she is determined to keep fighting.
“God put me here for a reason,” she said. “All I can do is trust Him. He’s gotten me this far.”
Allen hasn’t let her condition stop her from being with her sons. Last weekend, she joined them in working the pumpkin patch at St. John’s UMC in Fort Mill, where she is a member.
“I try to stay active,” she said.
Allen said she is looking into getting a second opinion on her condition and is taking life one day at a time.
“I do not give up and I will not give up,” she said.