RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- A local young mom is living with an overwhelming medical condition, and the community is coming together to help her get the surgery she needs to cure it.
Jonnie Schmitt's brain cyst won't kill her, but she said until it's removed she can't really live.
"The hardest part is just not feeling normal," Schmitt said. "It's hard at 26 years old to try to describe to somebody when you look fine that you don't feel fine. You're dizzy all the time. You have headaches. You're nauseated. You don't sleep. You have blurry vision. I can't see most the time because the cyst is pushing on my optic plate."
Schmitt said they found the cyst in June of 2012.
It's now six times the size it was then.
"It's to the point now where I can't drive," Schmitt said. "I can't be alone because I have blackouts."
It's not fatal, but Schmitt said, without surgery to remove it, it will continue to grow and symptoms will get worse and the cost of the procedure is delaying her treatment.
"I have only catastrophic insurance so I have extremely high deductibles," Schmitt said.
Schmitt said the surgery is going to cost at least $15 thousand. It could be closer to $30 thousand if they can't find an in-network surgeon.
"We're a one-income family with two kids so it makes it hard to set aside money for a surgery, especially that kind," Schmitt said.
The community is coming together to help Schmitt raise the money.
Roller Kingdom is hosting a fundraiser Monday night from 6:30 to 8:30. It's just five dollars to attend - which includes skates - and there will be a raffle with prizes ranging from snowboarding gear to massages.
Then November 8-9, there's another event at Thai Corner Cafe in downtown Reno. 10 percent of the sales will go to Schmitt's medical fund.
"It's amazing," Schmitt said. "I never expected this much support and help."
She hopes she'll be able to have the surgery soon and get back into the swing of things.
"I want to be able to take my kids places and not feel sick all the time," she said. "I'd like to eventually go back to work, when that time comes, and just go back to being young again."
Until then she's thankful to have her family by her side.
"That's how I get through it," Schmitt said. "My kids make me smile and give me the strength to go to the next day."
If you can't make the events but want to help, you can donate through Umpqua Bank at any location under the Jonnie Schmitt Brain Surgery Fund.