After over 35 years clean and sober and 25 years working in Social Services, I suffered a heart attack, a stroke and kidney failure in 2013. Since that time, my heart has recovered and most of my stroke symptoms are healed. I still need a walker for balance, and unfortunately my kidneys are so damaged I need a kidney transplant. The cause of my kidney disease started when I had preeclampsia (high blood pressure) when I was pregnant with my daughter in 1972, followed by 25 years of type 1 diabetes, further complicated by the dye that was used to look at my heart in 2013.
Going from a life of service to needing services has been quite an adjustment. In 2014, my children moved me from Seattle to Bellingham so they could assist me with shopping, etc. I no longer need their weekly help but, my life is certainly different. I spend 3 days a week at dialysis and several days a month at doctor’s appointments. It seems that I can’t completely change all my habits so I support others who are new to 12 step life or adjusting to life on dialysis. I can’t seem to stop caring and giving to others.
Now that my health has stabilized and I have moved to the top of the waiting list I’m ready for transplant. Medical insurance covers the surgery but, unfortunately, I am facing several post-transplant expenses that won’t be covered. These include but are not limited to: a care giver for six weeks, a six-week stay in a hotel in Seattle, co-pays for antirejection medications, monthly parking pass. Therefore, the hospital will not operate until I have raised $3,800.
After the transplant, my dream is to visit my father who lives in Southern California and has stage 4 bone cancer followed by finding a 1-2 day a week volunteer position at a local non-profit agency and spending time with my 2 adult children, my 5 grandchildren, and my 5 great-grandchildren.