A Wisconsin man is living with a life-altering condition that's become debilitating, and he is unable to personally afford the medical procedure his insurance says is cosmetic.
Keith Crowell developed "keloids" on his skin about 12 years ago, according to KTLA sister station WITI in Milwaukee. Keloids are described as a scar composed primarily of collagen.
"I had a bad reaction when I went to a barber and he gave me shave and nicked me on both sides," Crowell said.
The nicks didn't heal. Instead, mounds of skin grew on his face and neck.
"It can be devastating," Crowell said. "Sometimes I feel real bad."
He has had two surgeries — each removing nearly 40 pounds of flesh, but those operations proved unsuccessful, as the growths returned — larger.
"I want to be like, a normal person," Crowell said.
He now has that opportunity, as he has located a specialist to help with his situation.
"There's a doctor in New York that can solve my solution. He has a 96 percent rate that he can resolve my issue and I love those odds," Crowell said.
Crowell said he's ready to take the chance, hopeful that his physical and emotional pain will come to an end.
"I use baby oil to minimize the discomfort. I use simple everything, and I clean it every night with peroxide," Crowell said.
Despite sleepless nights, and difficulty swallowing and hearing properly as a result of the keloids, Crowell said his insurance won't cover the cost of the procedure in New York.
"They rejected my claim saying it was cosmetic surgery. I feel it's not cosmetic. This is my livelihood. This is my life right here," Crowell said.
Crowell said he's looking to God for hope, and has faith that his life will soon change for the better.
"He is always here, always serving," Crowell said.
A GoFundMe.com page has been set up to help Crowell raise money for airfare, lodging, surgery and after-care.