I always knew this day would come. I really thought I would see at least my 50th birthday before I had to worry about dialysis. I was diagnosed with lupus in 1995, and it has always affected my kidneys. A doctor once told me that dialysis would be in my future, but I still had about 50% kidney function at that time. Last Tuesday I noticed that my feet and legs were swelling. I tried to ignore it for a few days – see if staying off my feet and actually taking my blood pressure medicine every day would help. By Friday the swelling was worse, and I knew I had to address it. I went to Walgreen’s to get a free blood pressure check. It was 156/107 – normal is usually 120/80. The pharmacist told me to go straight to the hospital. I was hesitant to do so. I’ve fallen off the health insurance train. Ever since I moved to Rochester in November, I’ve had trouble finding a job that would offer health insurance and pay me enough to make ends meet. Once I found myself single again, and I started making plans to move to Orlando, health insurance was something I was going to pursue once I relocated myself.
As most of you know, I started a fundraiser a few weeks ago to help with my moving costs. I was just so desperate to get away from Rochester – my time here did not turn out to be the happy ending I thought it would be. One of the things that inspired me to start the fundraiser was the rerun occurrence of my favorite 30Rock episode on Comedy Central. It’s the one when Jack is trying to determine whether or not a man named Milton Greene is his actual birth father. When Jack reveals the true reason for their meeting, Milton reveals that he needs a kidney transplant. Jack is so desperate to avoid undergoing the surgery himself that he organizes an all-star, We-Are-The-World-type benefit concert. Sheryl Crow, Cyndi Lauper, Adam Levine, Elvis Costello, Mary J. Blige, just to name a few, all sang a song that was stuck in my head for days – “We just need a kidney…” When the episode was over, the idea was already planted in my head that I should just do a fundraiser for myself. It didn’t matter that my reason was a little non-traditional. Lots of people had told me they wanted to help me, but the moving costs were so high that no one person would be able to give that much.
I had NO IDEA when that episode inspired me how prophetic it would be. Now I actually need a kidney. Crazy. I’ve been in the hospital all weekend. My kidney function is bad, and it is not improving with the use of steroids. My kidneys are just scarred too heavily to get any better. They’ve had enough.
I know that there are some people that reacted negatively to the idea of me starting a fundraiser for something that didn’t seem that crucial. (Yeah, I know about you.) That is totally fine. The last thing I would want anyone to do is give to a cause they didn’t believe was right. Well, I’ve stepped it up a notch. Now I’ve got a need that no one can argue with. The fundraiser was already successful enough to allow me to make plans to move in May, mostly because a friend and I were going to do a moving truck switch-a-roo that was going to cut the cost drastically. Dialysis is something that is going to be an ongoing need, at least three times a week, and it will take some work to get my treatment plan established. Therefore I don’t want to do it more than once. Therefore the move has moved. It has to be now. Therefore the costs are back up to about $1500 for a truck, plus about $300 for gas…
…PLUS a big, fat, no-insurance hospital bill. I know there will be government assistance available at this point, and we’re looking into that, but I don’t know when that will happen. Therefore I’m putting this fundraiser back in the open. I’m still in need, and if you can help, it would be greatly appreciated. I know God has plans for my life, and you can be a part of that. Paypal is safe and easy to use, but if you prefer just send me an email and I’ll send you a mailing address. firstname.lastname@example.org
Big time thank you to those that have already given, and of course, prayer is even more important – and it doesn’t cost anything.