Robynne Russum Ryals is organizing this fundraiser.
This is for my Sister - Anne Russum Spear
Last October, my sister developed a dry, unproductive cough that just wouldn't go away. Since she talks on the phone for a living she didn't think much of it . In December, when the cough hadn't gone away, she finally went to see a Doctor. He did blood work and a chest x-ray which indicated that she had fluid in her lungs. He referred her to a Pulmonologist and in January of this year, they scheduled a procedure to remove the fluid and sent it off for testing. Two weeks later she again met with her Doctor who insisted she see an oncologist and a gastrologist, who just happens to be a liver specialist too. First plan of action was to rule out Liver Cancer, they removed 10 liters of fluid from her abdomen and sent it off for more testing. She had to undergo an abdomenal MRI, a pelvis MRI, an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, more bloodwork, a laparoscopic biopsy of her liver and several more fluid removals before they could rule out liver cancer and confirm that she had Non-Alcoholic Cirrhosis. Which means the scar tissue on her liver is keeping the fluid from being processed and it's going into her abdomen, which needed to be removed every couple of weeks. There is no treatment and the liver needs to be replaced.
This is where I come in ..... I hadn't talked to my sister in almost six years, but after our mother informed me of Anne's situation, I contacted her to let her know that I was willing to be tested as her Live Donor. Thanks to donations from friends and family I was able to fly to New York in July and no surprise, I'm a perfect match. Problem - I live in Florida, she lives in New Jersey, and the Montefiore Center forTransplantation is in New York.
In August, after several more tests, fluid removals and a bone marrow biopsy the Surgical Team has come to the conclusion that Anne actually has Budd-Chiari Syndrome which is a very rare condition, affecting 1 in a million adults. The condition is caused by occlusion of the hepatic veins that drain the liver. Same diagnosis, a liver transplant is her ONLY hope of surviving.
This week, we received the news from Montefiore that we are scheduled for surgery, Wednesday, November 1, 2017. This prodecure will require the removal of Anne's entire liver and transplanting 60% of mine. It will take Anne 6 months to a year for her to fully recover from this procedure - myself 6 weeks, neither of us will be able to work during this receovery period. Therefore, I am calling on our family, friends, neighbors and strangers to help me #savemysister. Rising medical costs as well as travel expenses have placed an undue financial burden and the road ahead of us is long and very expensive. Not only will we need assistance with medical bills, but it's important that Anne be allowed to heal her body and spirit without the additional burden of finiancial need. We appreciate any amount of gift you are able to extend to Anne and our family. As she moves from this difficult time toward a full recovery, we ask for your generousity, your prayers and good wishes.