My dialysis bills are really cutting into the amount Help Hope Live has listed that I've raised which ($17,000+) does not reflect what I actually have available. If I drop below the minimum of $12,500+ I will be removed from the kidney wait list until I can raise balance back to the amount required by Tampa General. Dialysis is costing me anywhere from $3,000-4,000 per month so in order to not decrease my balance to the point of being removed, a few of those bills have went unpaid. I currently owe DaVita Dialysis over $9,000 which disappoints me considering I was finally getting my credit score back on track so that I could possibly move or finance a newer and more reliable car after I get my transplant.
If you have anything extra to spare, I would so appreciate it more than you could possibly know. The donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law, unlike GoFundMe, and the money stays in the Help Hope Live Southeast Kidney Transplant Fund where I can only submit medical bills, rather than GoFundMe sending a check every month and you never know if people are really using it toward their medical expenses.
If you are unable to donate yourself, please....PLEASE....share my page publicly and perhaps someone else, ANYONE else will find it in their heart to help out by making a financial contribution or even better maybe after reading my page they will consider being tested to give me the gift of life. ❤
Thank you all in advance!
Mar 12, 2017
It has been a rough few months. After a month and a half of peritoneal dialysis I was unfortunately forced to stop and have a different access placed to begin hemodialysis. Between mid-November mid-December I had 3 surgeries to my abdomen to try and fix whatever the issue was that was causing the dialysate fluid not to drain properly. After ten days without any form of dialysis at all I was admitted to the hospital in an hypertensive crisis and I had a chest catheter placed to start emergency hemodialysis treatment. It was my hope to avoid ever going back onto hemodialysis because I remember vividly how poorly I felt after every treatment. I spent 5 days in the hospital because they could not find a spot for me at an outpatient dialysis clinic near me at first, and since I drive myself I need to be somewhat close to home. My nephrologist and I have been discussing a plan in which I will allow my stomach some time to heal from all of the surgeries performed over the last couple of months, work to get my albumin levels up (this is a measure of protein), and then in 4-6 weeks we will attempt peritoneal dialysis again but the overnight cycler version with the hopes that the slower treatment overnight will reduce the strain on my abdominal wall thus preventing any leaking as I had before. People ask me all the time what the big deal is about doing hemodialysis in-center as opposed to peritoneal at home is and all I can say is that it is the way you feel that makes all the difference. With hemodialysis, you are going into a clinic in a strip mall sometimes where technicians of limited medical experience are hooking you up to a machine which removes your blood at a very fast rate and runs it through a filter that separates and removes toxins from it then it returns to your body partially cleaned of the build up your malfunctioning kidneys are not removing. In-center hemo is only available 3 times a week, for 4 hours per treatment max. That is all that Medicare, or any insurance rather will pay for. So at most, you are getting 12 hours of kidney function when a health kidney works 24 hours a day to filter your blood. Those who are lucky enough to have a support person at home can do at-home hemodialysis which is better for patients as it is more like their natural kidney function. Peritoneal is the next best thing to home hemodialysis with the exception that you are not using blood as the source of cleaning, it is the peritoneum which acts as the filter to remove the toxins. The patient hooks up to a cycler at night and fluid is filled, left to dwell, and then drained all by a machine and when the patient disconnects in the morning they are done dialyzing for the day. This frees up a lot of time, and allows one to live a more "normal" life. I could go back to work perhaps, and travel again maybe. So right now, I am struggling a lot emotionally and physically. I have two catheters now so my body does not even feel like my own, and I cannot shower, swim, or bathe with them due to the high risk of infection. Even I still take things for granted like baths because I did not even think to take one the night before I had my first catheter placed! My local newspaper just printed another story as a one-year follow-up to my initial interview with them discussing my search for a living kidney donor and the money I had to raise even to be placed on the list for a deceased donor organ and I pray a match comes out of that round of people who are interested in being tested. Hemodialysis is certainly no way of life for anyone and I hope that one day research is completed on the artificial kidney, or that we are able to find a way to grow or regenerate kidney tissue using the stem cell technology being used in similar research now.
Thank you all for continuing to follow my progress. I will try much harder to update more often, and post more videos to keep this page active. Dialysis is not cheap either and I have now had to start submitting these expenses to Help Hope Live which I had honestly prayed I would be able to save all of these funds for post-transplant expenses, not dialysis treatments and subsequent hospital stays.
Love & Blessings,
Nov 29, 2016
Well it is nearing the end of November and I suppose it is time for another update. I wish I had more upbeat news to report but since my creatinine has still been increasing I had surgery on...
Oct 06, 2016
Just got an update from my kidney doctor regarding my recent labs.
Creatinine- 4.5 Kidney function- 12% Peritoneal Dialysis Catheter Surgery- November 3rd Dialysis- Scheduled to start within...
Sep 16, 2016
Hey everyone, time for an update on my quest for a kidney. Unfortunately since I have not found a donor and my labs have started getting worse, I have been referred to the surgeon who will place my...
Aug 08, 2016
There's been a lot going on in the last month or so, so here is your update on how things are progressing. As my previous update mentioned I was admitted just under a month ago for a hypertensive...
Jul 12, 2016
This is Melissa reporting to you live today from Gulf Coast Medical Center in Ft. Myers, Florida!
I had to come to the ER last night due to a hypertensive crisis accompanied by chest pain and a...
Jul 11, 2016
Had to go see an orthodontic surgeon the other day because I have a wisdom tooth that has started to decay. This is not typically a big deal for the average person but for someone like me who is on...
Jul 04, 2016
On July 1st my transplant coordinator called to inform me that the medical board at Tampa General Hospital has FINALLY approved me for the kidney transplant list! It has been a long 14 months of...
Jul 01, 2016
Struggling over the past year to get on the transplant list has taken a huge toll on me emotionally. As of late I have had to begin taking antidepressants and anxiety medication because of the...
Jun 02, 2016
TEAM TUFF T-SHIRT SALE -- Be a part of "Team Tuff" by wearing one of these fun t-shirts I designed to help spread the word about my search for a kidney donor. Please click...
Jun 01, 2016
Yet another setback :( My transplant coordinator called me yesterday to go over some things prior to my case going to the board for approval to be placed on the waitlist and I was informed that I...
May 24, 2016
Unfortunately getting listed at University of Michigan was a no-go. Because I live in Florida and my only secondary insurance is my share of cost Medicaid (which is barely insurance since it pays...
May 03, 2016
I know it's been a minute since I last updated and I apologize but I've been struggling to adjust to the loss of a significant relationship in my life with the person who had also agreed to be my...
Feb 19, 2016
Having a strong support structure in place is just one of the many requirements to be deemed eligible to go on the transplant wait list. In my case since I am not married, I do not have a close...
Feb 12, 2016
Wow. I am so overwhelmed and obviously incredibly blessed. I just checked my page today to see if I had met the milestone for the "Challenge Grant" that is offered by HelpHOPELive and then I saw my...
Feb 04, 2016
Okay everybody...here's the latest!
(Better grab a snack or a beverage because it's a long one!)
I finally found a specialist locally who realizes the importance of getting me medically...
Jan 20, 2016
My story was featured on the front page of the local newspaper! I'm so happy that people are learning from my experiences with kidney disease and transplant. My hope is that by putting myself out...
Dec 22, 2015
Just a reminder when purchasing all of your last minute holiday gifts please consider giving the ultimate gift that cannot be found on a shelf in a store or under any tree. It is the gift that...
Nov 13, 2015
Thanks to my family over at the Center for Spiritual Living Cape Coral and the Halloween Benefit/Party they just held for me, I'm just under $2500 away from the $12,584 needed to be wait listed for...
Nov 02, 2015
WOW! Our Halloween FUNdraiser was not only a ton of fun, it was also a BIG success! We have raised over $4000 so far with a few more contributions still pending! This makes a HUGE dent in what I...
Sep 06, 2015
Our first major fundraising event is set! I met with members from my spiritual center today to finalize details on the event they will be hosting on Halloween to benefit my kidney transplant fund....