Transforming EM research & care.

Fund Big Ideas
A doctor speaks intently to her patient who listens closely in a well lit annex of a hospital.

About erythromelalgia

"EM" is a rare neurovascular condition that causes painful burning, warmth, and redness to the feet, hands, face, and- less commonly- other parts of the body.

A woman doing yoga checks on her feet that are in pain. She looks distressed.

EM causes extremities to be 30° warmer than the rest of the body.

Imagine feeling as if your feet or hands are on fire 24/7.

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1 in 4 people with EM will take their own life.

In addition to living with extreme pain, those with EM lose the ability to do things they love.

Man with his hands clapped to his cheek looks defeated.

In the US, there are fewer than 50,000 people with this disease.

Orphan diseases are not only isolating but are also poorly funded.

About the Einstein Mission

At the Einstein Mission, we think outside the box to fund uncommon research and treatment for the under-acknowledged diseases of erythromelalgia (EM) and chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS).

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Headshot of Dr SparksDr Spark's dog named Einstein

Our organization's name was coined due to a commitment to thinking outside of the box much like the great Albert Einstein. In addition, the Einstein Mission is a throw back not only to the initials of our illness but also to Dr. Sparks' dog, Einstein, who was one of her most loyal support "people" during her disease process.

What Einstein Mission Funds

Donations fund research and treatment in the form of both medical treatment & therapy. Current medical research is looking at the connection between EM and chronic inflammatory response syndrome. Current therapeutic research is exploring narrative ways of working within a community support circle with those diagnosed with EM and/or CIRS. In addition to research, you can sponsor direct treatment in the form of medical visits or therapy. You even have the ability to specify how your funds are spent!

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Ways to Help

Stories of Hope

It can be hard to hold onto hope in the midst of this brutal disease. We all define healing differently. At the Einstein Mission, we have hope for your healing and lots of it! Here's why...

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The community support circle has blessed my life beyond measure. To know there were others like me, who suffered as I did, and to hear how they were turning their lives around, saved mine. There is hope and together we can turn hope into help."

David B.

Half-comedian | Half-teddy bear | All encouragement
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Things I can do today that I could not do a year ago include wearing socks all day, sleeping with my feet under the covers all night, and eating without fear of flaring. Only those with EM know how huge those seemingly small everyday tasks truly are! Dr. Sparks’ research tying EM to CIRS connected all the pieces of my personal health puzzle.

Crystal D.

Educator | Mother | Artist
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With all of my retirement savings spent and my only asset being my 10-year-old car, it was looking very desolate. Healing started because of Dr Sparks’ unending care for me and an outrageously generous contributor who sponsored me. After seeing over 20 physicians, some of them world-renowned in the field of EM, there is only one that told me that remission is possible!

Lesley D.

Huge heart | Faithful friend | Gratitude junkie
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I am on the road to a full recovery and can already survive my work day as a P.E. teacher wearing shoes and socks! I now know there is a path to relief and recovery. Everyone's path may look different, but together we are finding so many ways forward to beating EM and taking back our health and wellness!

Joe T.

Father to four | Powerhouse | Problem solver
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By the time I found Dr. Sparks, I was ten years into this dreadful disease, unemployed, totally disabled and quickly running out of options; free care was the only care I could afford. With divine intervention, I stumbled onto a comment, on a comment, on an exhaustive internet search of erythromelalgia treatment.

David B.

Honest to a fault | Macho male | Kindest of the kind
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Having trouble affording care?

We aim to be the best possible stewards of the funds entrusted to us. We can only offer scholarship to those that can demonstrate need. Please fully complete our scholarship application along with submission of supporting documents to get on our waitlist for sponsored care.

Request Support

Frequently Asked Questions

Erythromelalgia is a rare neurovascular condition that most commonly affects the feet, but may also occur in the hands, face, or other parts of the body. The term neurovascular means that both nerves and blood vessels are involved.

Who oversees how donations are spent?

The Einstein Mission has a board comprised of only people with lived experience of erythromelalgia. They direct how every donated dollar is spent. In addition, you have the option when donating to specify if you want your funding applied to research or treatment.

How can I get medical treatment and/or therapy?

Those seeking paid treatment should visit Dr Sparks' medical practice website. Those requesting scholarship or free treatment should submit a scholarship application including supporting documents demonstrating need to get on our waitlist for sponsored care.

What research is the Einstein Mission currently doing?

Current medical research is looking at the connection between EM and chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS). This includes 173 genes found to potentially be differentially expressed in EM and CIRS patients. Current therapeutic research is exploring narrative ways of working within a community support circle with those diagnosed with EM and/or CIRS. Narrative therapy harnesses the power of our EM community's hard-won wisdom.

With a donation, will I be given a receipt for tax purposes? What about a company match? What about if I want to wire funds to the Einstein Mission?

If donating online, a receipt for tax purposes is automatically generated. If you need additional information when seeking a company match, we are here to help. Shoot us an email. In addition, should you desire to wire a donation, simply reach out and request our "Wire Transfer Information."

Still Have Questions? Let's Chat!

If your questions about donations or volunteer work are unanswered after reviewing our website, feel free to shoot us an email. For treatment inquiries, either refer to Dr. Sparks' medical practice site for paid treatment or the above scholarship application for sponsored care. Do remember, we have hope for your healing and beg you to be enormously kind to yourself today.

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If you are in crisis, don’t use the contact form. Call 911 or visit your closest emergency room. If you are reaching out to receive treatment, please refer to the earlier text on the form.

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