HelpHOPELive South-Central Kidney/Pancreas Transplant Fund
Dear Family and Friends,
I guess everyone has heard by now of the miracle that God has brought about in my life. On March 25, 2009, after almost 40 years of living with juvenile onset diabetes, and after more than 15 years of chronic kidney disease as a complication of the diabetes, I finally received a kidney and pancreas transplant. I feel healthy for the first time in my life! Because of the very slow deterioration of my kidneys, I really was not aware of how bad I felt until the surgery was over and the new kidney began functioning. I feel like an entirely new person now!
I have only had one “set back” since the surgery, which was a hospitalization in August for CMV, a virus for which more than 80% of adults have antibodies in their system (meaning they have been exposed at some point). This is not a big deal for people with normal immune systems, but because of my suppressed immunity from my anti-rejection drugs, this “no big deal” virus became a very big deal for me! Thankfully, the doctors were able to diagnose the exact virus, and there was an antiviral medication available to treat it. After starting on this drug, I was better within a few days, although it took a month or so to get my strength back.
I have had no rejection episodes, thus far, which is excellent, since 80% of transplant patients will have a rejection episode within the first year. This is a treatable condition, so if it ends up happening at some point, don’t start making plans for my demise! My doctors and I watch for anything unusual very closely, and I trust them completely to fix anything that might come along… with God’s help!
My new organs will need lifelong care, particularly via multiple medications designed to prevent my body from rejecting the new organs, and for preventing infection (like the virus that I got in August)since my immune system is suppressed. You may have heard that transplants are expensive, and I can tell you that is true. My first month of meds ended up being $2,000! My dosage of medications has been lowered since that time, and many of my initial meds have been discontinued completely, but it remains that Mickey and I have the challenge of thousands of dollars a year in medical expenses that we have not had to face before. It is a challenge that we have not be able to meet alone. And we thank God that we are NOT alone!! Not only has God promised never to leave us (Matt 28:20), but also you, our friends, family, church family, and community have been at our sides every step of this process so far.
HelpHOPELive has also been assisting us ever since my surgery. A fundraising campaign was established with HelpHOPELive in April 2009 to help defray the uncovered medical costs associated with my transplant. HelpHOPELive is a nonprofit organization that has been helping the transplant community for over twenty-five years. All contributions are administered by HelpHOPELive exclusively for uninsured transplant-related expenses. Your donation to HelpHOPELive is tax deductible, and they provide accountability to you that I am not using the money for anything other than medical needs. To support this cause:To email this page directly to others in your community, who might wish to learn about Candace’s campaign, click the email button and type in as many email addresses as you wish.
My goal for 2010 is to be able to go back to work, after almost 9 years of being disabled! I am thrilled, and hopeful that I will be able to find a good job with good health benefits. In the meantime, funding my post-transplant care remains a challenge, and we continue to need your help, having faith that God will provide all our needs (Phil 4:19). Your prayers and financial support, as you are able, will be so greatly appreciated.
With Sincere Gratitude,
Candy and Mickey Wathen
August 5, 2009
Hi Candy! Just checking in and seeing how life is going for you post-transplant! Love you much!
Andreea, Richmond, VA
May 7, 2009
Candy, the donation I made was to benefit you in honor of Kim''s brother, Mark . . . and in his memory. Congratulations on your successful transplants. :)
April 16, 2009
Candy, You are beautiful inside and out!! But most of all, you are As SWEET As your name!! We love you! Your Beach Family
Jan Legear, Panama City, Fl
April 11, 2009
I love the new you-the old you-any way I get you. Keep on shining His light, shiny people! You are SOOOO loved!
Karen, Houston, TX.
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Help Hope Live
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In honor of Candace Wathen
Help Hope Live
2 Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonford Road
Radnor, PA 19087