Alan Miller Kidney Transplant
Alan is a passionate professional photographer who loves documenting people in love by specializing in wedding and family photography. Alan has home-schooled his son, Liam, for eight years while running his business, and supports his wife as she cares for him, their household, and continues to pursue her degree in nursing on a now cut-back schedule. Alan continues to fight to ensure the best life he can provide for his wife and son during these hard times.
Recently, Alan began to feel far more fatigued and weaker than usual. Many additional symptoms and signs of a problem began to become apparent. Following an annual lab and check-up, on March 31st, Alan and his wife, Lane, received the news he was in a final fight against kidney failure. (End Stage Renal Failure)
Alan was immediately forced to stop working. He was given no option but to cancel all 2014 remaining reservations, and sell some of his business assets to refund reservations and begin paying for associated medical expenses. Additionally, with recent changes in insurance, insurance costs now tripled to over $700 per month for Alan’s insurance coverage alone. There are many additional expenses such as medications, co-pays, travel, and more causing duress for the Millers. Post-transplant medications will typically range into four figures per month for possibly the rest of Alan’s life.
These financial hard times have become extremely stressful on Alan, Lane, Liam and his family. With God’s gracious will, Alan prays to be able to fight through this and return to the work he loves in the future. As many know, the disease typically calls for dialysis, followed by the ultimate goal of a kidney transplant. Alan’s family has transferred records to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, and after six weeks, has finally gotten the appropriate initial appointments scheduled to begin his long fight.
As one may guess, costs are outrageously expensive and Alan and his family are no longer in a position to afford them due to the loss of Alan’s work and business. This page has been set up to help them through this transition, and to help sustain their home and hardship medical and living expenses. Any funds lovingly donated will be used for the above mentioned expenses while Alan fights through dialysis and a transplant.
If you would like to view Alan’s photography (he cannot accept work), his imagery can be viewed at alanmillerphotography.com.
Our Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/AlanMillerKidneyDialysisTransplant
This page will be updated by the Miller Family as news becomes available.
Thank you for your time, help, and consideration!
Friends of the Miller Family
I am happy to report I've passed my one-and-a-half-year mark post transplant. There have been many weeks & months of both uphill battles and smooth sailing. I won't get into details, but things are going great. I still have mini-battles from time to time, but they have been easily overcome with patience.
Now that the brain-haze seems to have cleared, I am working again and have requested that disability be discontinued. I probably pushed working early, but I've always been conscious of my responsibilities when it comes to doing my fair share in this life to survive. Frankly, there's just too much debt to try to squeak by on disability... which I never did.
While still climbing out of debt, I wanted to just add this post to ensure I wasn't misleading anyone. I still get sprinkles of donations here and there, and I am very humbled by each and every single person that restores a little of my faith in humanity when they read my story and feel the need to help. Ultimately, it is my faith in God that my needs are met; and without a doubt, there are times He shows me He is there sending someone like this my way.
Thank you to everyone who has been part of this journey with me. I will be leaving this page up simply for others to learn about the horrible chapters of kidney failure. I will probably pop in from time to time to post updates.
Here's to the hope of many future decades of successful kidney function!
I will copy & paste my recent posts from the past few months, in order, from my FB page(s). If you've been keeping up there, there is no need to read. If you haven't, this post/email should catch you up.
Thank you all for the help and prayers you provided through these three years.
September 8, 2016
Significant Update: I just spent two days at Mayo for my annual follow-ups. The good news is all my tests look good, and there has been no significant changes since last year. I am still approved at this time for transplant and the waiting list. However, the bad news is Mayo is questioning if I am prepared for my first year costs, and they need to see it. In that preparation, they wanted to see the $3,000 I have towards my recovery stay, and $5,000 towards my first year's medications. If I cannot show this, they will remove me from the waiting list. I have the $3,000 covered, but that leaves the $5,000 for medications. Personally, I don't think I'll need that much, so I am not going to increase my Go Fund Me amount. However, I DO need to hit my goal. (currently $4,000 to go) I do not know if this will put anything on hold. We've told them we will come up with it, regardless. So, this update is to ask anyone that can to please help. If you're in a spot where you can't, I ask that you please share this update. Regarding Jason, I have no update at this time. He has completed his follow-up bloodwork and tests, but they have not told either of us anything. If everything gets approved in the coming weeks, they are telling me things could move very fast... as in three weeks fast. So, there is a little urgency now in play. If you can help, if you can share, and or if you can say a little prayer, I thank you with all of my heart.
September 16, 2016
REALLY Significant Update #2: It is with great excitement today that I report Jason and I finally have a surgery date! While we both have a couple of tests between now and surgery, most of the tests will be typical last-minute verification at, or slightly prior to, pre-op to ensure there are no surprises for the surgery team(s).
November 5th, 2015, Jason's father, Henry "Buddy" Mann, passed away. This past couple of years have been tough on both of us in many different ways. We've both fought personal battles and won through perseverance. As an honor to his father, Jason requested the surgery date of November 4th, so that I will wake up November 5th with a new lease on life. I'll admit. When he told me, I teared up a little bit. What a wonderful way to show your love for two people you care so much about. I have never questioned God's timing, or become impatient, and now I see why. It's humbling.
I will try to share any last moment update I feel necessary between now and November 4th, or if scheduling should change. If not, I will update you all very shortly following surgery.
Thank you for taking a moment to read my update; and thank you to the handful of you that were able to help this past month.
October 21, 2016
Hello everyone. I wanted to share one last update before the big day. In exactly two weeks, Jason and I hope to be recovering well following a very long and somewhat scary day. This is probably my last post to request prayers and financial help. I was recently told one of my prescriptions will cost me around $500 a month for six months. This happens to be almost exactly what is left on our GoFundMe goal. If you can help, it would be greatly appreciated. If you can share, it would be greatly appreciated. I thank each and every one of you who have taken this journey with me over the past three years. While it's been the hardest time in my life, a part of me is thankful for the experience, and the things I have learned by going through it. I would never wish this on any human being. Thank you for taking the moment to read my update.
January 6, 2017
I've been quiet these past few weeks while recovering. I've been spending a lot of time putting weight back on (thanks mom lol), walking and getting outside. Due to the enormous hematoma I developed under the incision, the first 4-5 weeks saw me pretty much inside 24/7 and in bed when I wasn't at an appointment. I had a couple of ER visits that turned out to be false labs, numerous ultrasounds to look for blockages due to questionable numbers, and I could barely walk 20 feet or so. Those weeks were quite a struggle. My days usually started around 5am and were filled with constant needle sticks and some form of scan or test. lol Then, things began to look upward.
During week 6 & 7, I built up to walking a constant three miles a day. That took nearly two weeks. I spent those 7 days between Christmas and New Years forcing myself to keep the pace up. Every few days, I'd have some extra pain that pushed me to take a little slower day, but I began to feel consistent in my building up. Since coming home Saturday, I've kept that all up.
My labs are finally beginning to settle in, and this first set of labs from Wednesday look really great. The numbers I've been battling are finally beginning to peak in the good ranges. I haven't had those numbers since my 20's! I'm sure a little more adjustment is ahead, and possibly even better results; but for the most part, things are pretty much settling in.
The plethora of pill bottles I started with has finally dropped to just five. Still sounds like a lot, but it really isn't. My BP and cholesterol issues are finally gone, and I was finally able to drop several maintenance meds. I got really lucky on the post op med pricing so far. Hopefully, I won't pick up any nasties that will change that. Once Medicare drops in a few years, I'm sure regular insurance will increase my monthly med cost a bit. I don't expect it to get terribly bad, though.
So, all in all, things are going very well. I have some rough days; but knowing it's just hard work towards rebuilding, I'm just fine with it. It will probably still be several months before I "feel" somewhat normal. After all, I've got a kidney in my abdomen, and things are kind of cramped in there right now. lol
Once again, thank you all for supporting and experiencing this with me these past three years. Here's to hoping I won't have to go through this again!
Thank you for reading!
During these next couple of months, we need to hit our GoFundMe goal as close as we can. This remaining goal is to cover my medications upon release and the time I will be staying at the Gabriel House at Mayo for recovery. Hopefully, my prescriptions will drop considerably within a few months after transplant.
Any help you can lend is appreciated. If all you can afford is prayer, we'll take it! Thank you for reading and sharing. Without those of you reading this, I probably wouldn't be here today. I'll continue to post as we are told more information.
I just wanted to share this short update. Recently, we achieved our initial goal of $15,000 on GoFundMe. Thank you to everyone who helped us get this far. Without your help, we would be considerably more in debt than we already are today.
As things have taken twists and turns during the past two and a half years, and twice as long so far as we had originally expected, we have increased our goal just a bit to help us reach a successful end to all this.
Originally, we set GoFundMe up thinking this would all take about a year. Once things were moving along, and tests had been concluded to get me on the transplant list, Mayo informed us it could take up to 5 years due to my blood type. (the most common donor, but least common recipient) Once we had all the info we needed, we began looking for live donors.
As many of you know, my best friend stepped forward to be tested. He initially passed all tests, but was challenged to lose some weight before Mayo would give us the green light. He has been working very hard for several months to achieve this goal, but we are now beginning our third year while we wait for everything to finally be in place.
Our original goal was structured to cover each phase during this trial. The first 33% ($5,000) was for the initial phase of getting dialysis started with surgery for catheter placement. The second 33% ($5,000) was for helping with the increase in insurance, medications, and loss of income during all of this. The final 33% was for some additional transplant surgery costs and a short "recovery" time. However, since the second phase has taken two years now, we made much of the final portion get us through two years of insurance and ongoing related costs.
If that wasn't enough already, this month we've lost 33% of our disability income due to Liam reaching age 18 and graduating high school. This recent loss is a major hurdle now as we will no longer receive enough to make all our costs and debts.
So, as of this update, I have increased our GoFundMe an additional amount of the final 33% once again. ($5,000) With Jason so close to his goal, we hope that transplant will finally be scheduled in the coming months.
If you can help, thank you! If you can spread the word, thank you! If you can lend a prayer, Thank you even more! For without God, none of this would have happened, and I would not be here today.
Thank you for taking the time to read this update.