Dear Friends, Family and Community,
Our best friend, Justin is a 62-year-old man who is very ill. After years of struggling with dilated cardiomyopathy, Justin’s doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center told him that he is in desperate need of a life-saving heart transplant.
February 25, 2016
It has been quite a year so far. In Dec ’15, I contracted RSV, which was serious…a virus with no treatment. It affected my heart function by reducing my ejection/fraction rate by 35%. This affected my breathing and stamina. I am just about back to pre-RSV strength tho I am still on a weight lifting restriction of 25 pounds. It took a good 6 weeks to get rid of the cough. I pray no one out there gets this RSV. I was super close to pneumonia. You all please keep healthy! 🙂
HHL has told me to update this “blog” to keep you all informed of my health and needs. As many of you know me very well, I am very independent and very reluctant to ask for help at all. It was a tough task to deal with last year in doing so but I realized I cannot do this nor survive without help. A lot of Folks came forward with support and some fund raising benefits. I am ever so thankful, appreciative, and grateful.
As HHL and I discussed, there is a common misconception that once a person is in remission, all is well. My added concern is my heart health – which is delicate at best.
From a year ago, I am healthy now and able to function better but the medical bills and expenses continue to pile up as visits, meds, and tests are routine. Yes I am in remission. Yes I am not eligible right now for a heart transplant, and fortunately, I do not need heart bridge surgery. And I am able to enjoy life almost normally but…..
I have osteoporosis as a result of the chemo and the steroids. My bones are that if a 85-90 year old. I have lost 3 teeth that had root canals. One was a small front tooth. I smile like Tom Selleck now! Any way I look at it, a “repair” is 2K, which I do not have. HHL Funds will assist with the tooth repair.
I am 6 figures in debt with medical bills which I will more than likely never be able to pay off unless a lottery ticket pans out! 🙂
I recently had to delay a needed prescription due to the “new” rules on co-pay and I did not have the money.
I was encouraged to express all this to give you the real point of view in facts regarding my “fight”. And not only my fight, but thousands of people in my boat.
I am expressing this not to have you feel sorry for me or express sympathy. Rather I simply ask for your support in any form: prayers and/or donations, even support to other individuals need if you are able and feel comfortable to do so.
Thank you so much for your kindness last year and now. Many Blessings!
November 5, 2015
November 4, 2015
It has been quite a year. With the diagnosis of cancer, I must be cancer free for 5 years for my heart transplant. I was given a a year or less to live without the heart transplant or bridge surgery. I told them a year ago Sept: “I am going to fool you all.” (I do remain on the heart transplant list.) I have been in complete remission for 5 months now and my heart is strong enough that I have been “freed” to do anything I feel like with an 80 pound weight lifting limit. To celebrate my first moth off of chemo, my friend Ben took me to NC to white water raft and zip line in the same day. Probably not a smart thing to do but I did do it and had a blast. Folks have been so nice to me. My biggest thrill is that I was able to start riding Smokey again and that is big for me.
Tho I am gaining strength every month, I still face treatment and medicines. I appreciate all of you that have supported me and hope you will continue to do so over the next 6 months or so. I expect to be strong enough to “work” in the Spring!
Your support has paid for medicines and co-pays that I simply cannot afford too.
The osteoporosis has taken it’s toll on me, particularly with my teeth. I will not go into detail but an upper denture is my best, my logical path. Your support will help me get this done.
I thank you all from the bottom of my heart!
One lesson very much learned from the past year plus that I would like to share with all: Do not put things off until tomorrow – do them as soon as you can! Period! Smile! Always smile!.
Blessings with much gratitude!