Help Paloma Live!!!

$12,303 of $12k goal

Raised by 157 people in 50 months
Jeff Mendez  HAYWARD, CA

My name is Jeffrey Mendez and I'm making this page to help my beautiful wife Paloma. I'm coming to you with my hat in hand with the hope that you may be able to help her. Please bear with me.

A little bit about Paloma. She's a beautiful, strong, vibrant, honest, and loving 30 year old woman. She loves art, music and animals. She loves all her friends and family wholeheartedly.

Paloma is diabetic and has been most of her life. In 2010, her health took a turn for the worse and she was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease a.k.a. Kidney Failure. She was put on Peritoneal Dialysis and tons of medications shortly thereafter to keep her alive. She was also placed on the Transplant Waiting List but for her blood type the wait is at least 6-7 years. It goes without saying that this is one of the most expensive diseases one can suffer from with endless doctor and lab visits and at least 15 prescription medications at any given time.

Fast forward 3 years and my poor wife has suffered from the side effects of these 2 diseases. The diabetic neuropathy and the daily dialysis has taken it's toll on her body. She can no longer work. She's been wheelchair bound for a little over a year due to the muscle loss in her legs. 6 months ago she lost the use of her hands. The dialysis is leaving painful calcifications in her calves and knees. Even on strong pain medicine, she is still in near constant pain. She has to keep her knees elevated most of the time to get a little bit of relief. She can hardly sleep or rest for more than an hour at a time. For the past few months she was at least able to stand up on her own to get her in and out of the wheelchair, car, shower, and toilet.

As of Mid-February, she could no longer do this either. Her life has become incredibly difficult. She has fallen and hurt herself 3 times. Even the most basic of daily tasks we take for granted have become tedious and extremely frustrating for her. At this point, she needs round the clock care as far as her basic needs are concerned. Every day has become a struggle and she can no longer enjoy life. I can't even get her out of the bed to get her some fresh air and sunshine. Getting her to her doctor appointments have become next to impossible due to not having the proper vehicle.

The healthcare that my employer and I pay for doesn't cover "Disabled Medical Equipment" which means that we have to come out of pocket 100% for all the assistance devices. For example: Patient Lift, Taller wheelchair, Lift chair, Ramp Van etc, etc. I tried to qualify for assistance but my gross pay is too high. It's sad because I barely take home enough money to cover rent, utilities, food and gas not to mention mounting medical bills.

Which brings me to why we're here. We need help. I can't do anything about her current health condition. At the very least, I can try to make her days and nights as comfortable as possible and also eliminate the risk of falling by using a wheelchair accessible van. Unfortunately, I simply can't afford these items on my own.

Here's a small list of the main items:

Adjustable Queen/King Bed $2000-$3500 (GIFT RECEIVED)
10K BTU Portable Air Conditioner $300- $500
New WheelChair $400-$800 (GIFT RECEIVED)

Patient Lift $500-$1500 (PURCHASED)

Lift Slings $250-$500 (PURCHASED)
WheelChair Ramps $600-$800 (PURCHASED)
Lift Chair/Recliner $1000-$1300 (GIFT RECEIVED)
And the big one.....

Good Used Ramp Van $15K-$25k (Purchased)
Wheelchair Vehicle Restraint System $400-$750 (Purchased)

Another way you can help directly:

I'm not asking for you to fund all of this without any self-sacrifice on my part. I sold my 70 Chevy C10 Pickup for this cause and used the money to help buy the van we just picked up.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have and I'll do my best to answer them quickly. I know that I set a very lofty goal but she's worth that and much more. I'm also contacting her favorite TV show personalities and other charitable organizations for help. Hopefully using this approach we can reach this goal quickly.

All of the donations here are going directly into a special account set up to pay for all the medical equipment she needs. Believe me when I say that all of your hard-earned dollars won't be squandered.

Anything you can give, no matter how great or small would help greatly and I will owe you a big favor. I am also accepting cash and check donations in person if you aren't comfortable donating over the web. Let me know. Thanks friends.

Jeffrey Mendez
25468 Belmont Avenue
Hayward, CA 94542

****UPDATE 4/9/2013****
We have some very big changes coming this week. My poor Paloma's life is only going to get harder. Her kidney function has worsened over the past few months. Wednesday she is going to have a Vascular Access inserted in to her heart. That way, she can start getting the hemo-dialysis she needs. Then on Friday she will begin In-Center Hemo-Dialysis 3 days per week. Needless to say, the logistics behind transporting her to and from these appointments will be difficult until we can afford our own van. We need everyone's help more than ever. Thanks for taking the time to read this. We appreciate you all.

****UPDATE 4/23/2013****
I'm shifting the focus of this fundraiser to the critical need we have for a wheelchair accessible van. Right now, the only way to get Paloma to her dialysis treatments is via Wheelchair Taxi. Even with the discount she gets, it's still very costly with 6 rides per week. Having our own van will save us money in the long run and allow me to take Paloma out for more social activities. Right now, we can only afford trips to dialysis. We need everyone's help. No matter how big or small.

****UPDATE 6/4/2013****
It has been on helluva a week. I actually managed to find a Wheelchair Ramp Van within our budget!!! I picked it up a few days ago and I'm very happy with it. It's far from perfect and needs a little work but it's an awesome starting point. It's missing the wheelchair restraints, the motorized drivers seat is on the fritz, and the clearcoat is bad. Aside from that it's good. The proper restraints should cost somewhere in the $500-$900 range. Hopefully we will be able to order them soon so we can leave the buses and taxis behind and give Paloma some freedom back.
We couldn't have made it this far without all of your help. Just a little more to go and we will be at our goal!!!
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Update 50
Posted by Jeff Mendez
44 months ago
I've been getting this question a lot lately and realized I've been lagging on giving you guys an update on Paloma's health. Overall, I'd say she is doing much better. She made it through her surgery and subsequent procedures okay. Soon, she will be able to do Dialysis through the fistula in her arm and we should see further improvement from a more thorough cleaning. She has been working hard daily at regaining the use of her hands and I'm proud to share that she is able to do some basic things for herself again (feeding herself, dental hygiene, etc etc). We are also working on getting her into intensive physical therapy to hopefully get her on her feet again.

I want to thank you all again. Without all of your kindness and generosity, we wouldn't be where we are now. All the help we got removed so much stress from our lives and allowed her to concentrate on getting better. You guys made that possible!!! So thank you all again from the bottom of my heart.
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Update 49
Posted by Jeff Mendez
44 months ago
What a crazy weekend. Deejay Audio-One and I pulled an all-nighter Friday night and took a quick trip to Anaheim. Left at 2am and got back 7pm on the same day. A gentleman named Richard blessed us with a donation of a High-End Adjustable Bed!!! Only catch was that I had to go and pick it up. Thanks to Michael Doss and Leslie Doss for helping us get the 15' Box-Truck to pick this bed up in.
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Update 48
Posted by Jeff Mendez
45 months ago
I haven't posted this up in a bit as I'm trying to give everyone's news feed a break. The fundraiser is still on and I am still working on ways to help my Paloma get everything she needs. I'd like to thank everyone again for all your support over these past 5 months. We couldn't have ever got this far without all of you. Bless you all!!!
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Update 47
Posted by Jeff Mendez
45 months ago
Got some news for you guys! I got the tally from yesterday's fundraiser. With your help, we raised $706.01 towards the the goal!!! Thank you to Lu and the whole staff at Taqueria Azteca for lending their support to our cause. Thanks again to all our friends and family who came through and help Paloma have an awesome day! We love you all and thank you again for helping me help my wife live a better life.
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$12,303 of $12k goal

Raised by 157 people in 50 months
Created March 11, 2013
38 months ago
Lakofspeed Car Club
44 months ago (Offline Donation)
Lu and Steph
45 months ago (Offline Donation)

Proceeds from the Help Paloma Live Fundraiser @ Taqueria Azteca.

45 months ago (Offline Donation)
Carolyne, Andy and Pepper
45 months ago (Offline Donation)
Carl Van Arsdall
45 months ago (Offline Donation)
Monique Plante
45 months ago (Offline Donation)
Ann Wiederanders
46 months ago

I wish I could donate more--I am a student and am currently living off of student loans. However when I heard your story, I felt obliged to "pay it forward" (as much as I can), as I, too, have faced a life-threatening illness and relied on the financial and emotional support of others. I wish both you and Paloma the best of luck!

Regulus .
46 months ago

Being in SoCal I will not be able to attend. I hope this donation helps a little. Best of luck to you and Paloma.

Javier Peralta
46 months ago (Offline Donation)

For Paloma

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