Like many Americans, Guillermo “Memo” Lopez is living with Type 2 Diabetes. He was diagnosed in 1995 and was able to manage the disease with relative ease, for several years, by monitoring his diet and taking his prescribed medication. However, given the degenerative nature of diabetes, in 2005 he was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy – “a common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults.” Despite the bleak prognosis, Memo was able to maintain his vision for many years with little impairment.
However, in 2011, everything changed – a single car accident set into motion a series of events that would exacerbate his diabetes and related illnesses, and lead to his current diagnosis of renal failure.
In late 2011, Memo was involved a car accident where he sustained damage to his right arm, shoulder, and neck. As a result of his injuries, he underwent several surgeries to repair a torn rotator cuff and nerve damage to his shoulder and neck. After several painful years of physical therapy and medical treatment, he was able to regain mobility in his arm but was left with chronic pain. In order to manage the pain, his doctors prescribed pain medication. However, the use of this pain medication would eventually lead to the malfunctioning of his kidneys and failure thereof.
Throughout 2011 and 2012, while Memo was undergoing extensive medical treatment for injuries sustained in a car accident, he was unable to work. As a result, he lost his job as an HVAC technician – a job he thoroughly enjoyed – and lost his health benefits. Without income and without health insurance, Memo was unable to afford the insulin he so desperately needed in order to manage his diabetes. With the help of his family and friends, he was occasionally able to pay for his medication; however, the inconsistent availability and use of his medication had a lasting and irreversible effect on his body.
In 2012, he suffered an eye stroke causing extensive vision loss in his right eye. Since then, Memo has undergone countless eye surgeries to help prevent further vision loss. Nevertheless, he has lost more and more of his vision every year. Today, he is legally blind.
In 2015, Memo was diagnosed with renal failure and currently receives dialysis treatments 3 times a week. Since then, his family has exhausted all known resources to help him receive a kidney transplant – visiting doctors, specialists, and organ transplant centers in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Mexico. Memo is currently on a kidney transplant list with the University of Wisconsin Hospital, with an expected wait time of 4-6 years.
Unfortunately, Memo doesn’t have the luxury of waiting that long. According to his doctors, if Memo continues receiving dialysis 3 times a week, he only has 4-6 years to live.
But there is hope! In Memo’s hometown in Mexico, el Centro Estatal de Transplantes, a reputable and well-respected center for transplant surgery, is able to help Memo receive a kidney transplant very soon! The only obstacle is raising enough funds.
Will you help Memo get the kidney transplant he deserves?!
Every donation, no matter how small, will make a difference!
Thank you very much for your support!!!
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