Jason Brickey is on the waiting list for a kidney-pancreas transplant. Jason has been battling brittle type 1 diabetes since age 15 and is legally blind today due to related complications. His wife, Ashley, serves as his caregiver. From community support to the positivity provided by their five children, Ashley explains why love is central to their life together.
To us, family support is the most important thing a person can have. It’s our children that keep us going, knowing that they need us both, and that they want their daddy around throughout their lives. We refuse to accept any other scenario.
As a caregiver, there are days when I’m worn out and I get frustrated that Jason can’t drive anywhere or run a simple errand. There are days when it wears on both of us, and I just need to vent. But in a lot of ways, it has brought us closer. Jason may not be able to read or drive, but he finds so many other ways to support the family. We’re like a team. We work together to get everything done. With this obstacle has come a much more intimate love between us.
I admit, I get discouraged when we get a call for a transplant and travel all the way to the medical center only to be told that it isn’t going to happen. It tears my heart out. I cry. But then I look at Jason, and I tell myself, “God is in control and He knows what He’s doing,” and then I find peace again.
We are truly soulmates! You may think you’re in love with someone, but once you are put in a situation like this, you see how strong your love truly is. We have cried together, shared our hopes and dreams for our new future together, and have even laughed together about his condition just to lighten the mood. We are best friends and we wouldn’t want to go through this with anyone else but each other.
Once the transplant takes place, we’ll be responsible for frequent local check-ups at a medical center 3 hours from our home. We will have to pay for temporary lodging out-of-pocket, as well as gas, travel expenses, groceries, toiletries, daily living expenses and lost wages while we are away. That’s why we continue to fundraise with HelpHOPELive.
We’re amazed at the amount of support we’ve received from our community. There have been times when I have felt close to giving up hope, but our support team has been so strong since Day 1 that, at the least, we owe it to all of them to keep fighting. They are ‘for us’! From donating to sharing our story to the smallest prayer, they show us that they believe in us, giving us the strength and motivation to carry on. The truth is that they will never know just how special they are to us.
Jason and Ashley have been fundraising with HelpHOPELive since 2014 for expenses related to Jason’s transplant journey.