Learning to Heal: Chicago-Area Assault Survivor in Nassar Case Says Counseling Fund Has Stopped Paying

“Up until he was sentenced, I was so concentrated on the case itself”

One of the sexual assault victim survivors in connection to Michigan State Doctor Larry Nassar’s case says after four years, she is finally getting treatment for her post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in the Chicago area, but the fund set up to pay for counseling has stopped paying.

Twenty years later, the abuse Danielle Moore says she suffered comes rushing back.

“I’m like what’s going on? I was 12 or 13, my dad’s in the room…It must be okay,” she remembers thinking about her first treatment with Nassar. “When he wasn’t, or my mom wasn’t there, then it escalated.”

The young gymnast grew up in the Lansing area and went to Dr. Nassar for four years. She never spoke about the abuse until Nassar was arrested years later. Then she, along with nearly 200 other women came forward, and spoke at his sentencing in January 2018.

“Up until he was sentenced, I was so concentrated on the case itself,” Moore said. “Afterwards, you have nothing else to focus on but your own emotions.”

Diagnosed with PTSD and depression, Moore turned to therapy.

“We weren’t really getting anywhere at a certain point,” Moore said.

That’s when a therapist urged her to consider ketamine infusions. Moore met with Dr. Bal Nandra of the Ketamine Centers of Chicago in May 2018.

“What we do allow with ketamine is able to process things better and emotional response to those negative memories is blunted completely,” Dr. Nandra said. “That’s what is so amazing about it.”

When Moore started the ketamine treatment she was coming in once or twice a week. Now she gets a treatment every couple of months.

“Without the ketamine treatment I honestly don’t know if I would be here today,” she expressed. “I was that depressed. I have had one suicide attempt in the past.”

Moore says those dark days are behind her, but now she’s facing a new battle -- paying for the treatments despite Michigan State University setting up a ‘Healing Fund’ to help all of Nassar’s victims with counseling.

“We were initially paid but it’s been well over a year now where they have not even acknowledged the receipt of our bills or communicated at all with us,” Dr. Nandra said.

Dr. Nandra said he will continue the treatments pro bono while they wait for answers.

Meanwhile Moore said both the ketamine and her work with ‘Army of Survivors,’ the non-profit she started with other Nassar survivors to help victims of sexual abuse in sport, will keep her going.

“There’s finally hope, and I think that’s one of the most important things,” she said.

NBC Chicago contacted the ‘Healing Fund’ administrator Tuesday and were told to call back Wednesday. A new administrator is expected to take over on Sept. 1. 

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