MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee man is living with a life-altering condition that's become debilitating, and without the financial means to get a procedure he desperately needs.
Keith Crowell said he feels a sense of belonging at Hampton Avenue Church of Christ.
"My church family here, we love each other," Crowell said. "Without them, I would have been more depressed. I would have been isolated more. My church family gives me that spiritual uplifting I so much needed."
Crowell developed "keloids" on his skin about 12 years ago.
"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. Sometimes I feel real bad," Crowell said.
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% 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 the Lord for hope, and has faith that his life will soon change for the better.
A GoFundMe.com account has been set up to help Crowell raise money for airfare, lodging, surgery and after-care.
CLICK HERE to make a donation.