As most of you know I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at the age of 4 months. With the help of my family I have lived a pretty normal life. There has always been the occasional trip to the hospital for a “tune up”, but for the most part, my life has been fairly normal, that is until recently. In September 2009, I was hospitalized with the flu. Unbeknownst to my husband and me, this was to be the beginning of a new stage in my CF. Cystic Fibrosis is a progressive disease, and my case was progressing to a new level. My body no longer responded to the usual “tune up” procedure that I had grown accustomed to all these years. In the past, whenever I became ill with a respitory ailment, I would be admitted to the hospital for intravenous antibiotics and intense respitory therapy, and in a few days, I would begin to feel better and get back on my feet. That is no longer the case. Since September 2009, I have been hospitalized every 6 to 8 weeks. The drugs that used to work no longer have the same effect. I could not overcome some of the infections. Because of the frequency of my hospitalizations and the efforts required to maintain some level of health, I am no longer able to work as a schoolteacher. As a result, I had to take medical disability from my job and have been out of the classroom since February 2010. My doctors began to prepare us for the possibility of a double lung transplant. In September 2010, my husband and I and my family visited Mayo Clinic Jacksonville Florida to begin the process to enter the lung transplant program. In November 2010, I was officially listed on the transplant list at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.
While our course of treatment has been determined, when this might take place is unknown. Because of the time-critical nature of the transplant procedure, I have had to move to Jacksonville to be in close proximity to the Mayo Clinic. Dustin remains in Atlanta to work and take care of our home. Our medical insurance will cover most of the cost of the operation and post-operative care but many expenses have limits or are not covered at all. In an effort to help cover some of these costs we have established a fund-raising campaign with HelpHOPELive. Some of the uncovered costs are housing in Jacksonville before and after transplant, travel expenses to Jacksonville for Dustin, cardiopulmonary rehab, and increased insurance premiums due to medical disability.
HelpHOPELive is a no profit organization that provides tax benefits for contributors to HelpHOPELive and accountability that ensures that any donations are handled appropriately and used only for approved expenses. Through the assistance of HelpHOPELive you can give with confidence that your gift will be used properly. Please visit the HelpHOPELive website for more information.
To follow Katie’s progress you can sign up for emails @ caringbridge – page name katiesmith2
Family and friends of Katie Smith are raising money to pay for uninsured medical expenses associated with transplantation.
Katie has chosen to fundraise with HelpHOPELive – The Leader in Fundraising Assistance and Support for Transplant and Catastrophic Injury in part because HelpHOPELive provides both tax-deductibility and fiscal accountability to contributors. Contributors can be sure that funds contributed will be used only to pay or reimburse medically-related expenses. For more information, please contact HelpHOPELive at 800-642-8399.
Thanks for your support!
September 24, 2012
Out God is an awesome God. You and Dustin have been on my mind lately. I am praying for a miracle and for thr opportunity to give Him all the Glory.
September 8, 2012
Hey girl, lifting you and all your sweet family up to our wonderful Savior!!
Gail Walston/Winder, GA
September 3, 2012
Our thoughts and prayers for healing are with you and your family!
Karen Carter, Georgia
June 1, 2011
I love you, Katie! Pray for you every day. See you soon!