Amanda's Transplant Fund

My name is Amanda Tucker. When I was 11 years old I developed an acute attack of Pancreatitis, and was hospitalized for about 10 days. I was bed ridden, and going in and out of the ER for about 4 months. My attack went away, and life went back to normal. 4 years later another attack came, I was hospitalized again, but something was different; the pain didnt go away. The attacks kept coming, and they horrifically damaged my pancreas, thus, causing Chronic Pancreatits. No one in San Diego had ever heard of a child getting Chronic Pancreatitis. So, its been really hard to find the right care. We've been to UCLA, UPMC, and almost every hospital here. For most, it's difficult to understand the pain. The pain has signifacantly robbed me of an important time of my life. I'm 15 years old and have been on every narcotic, pain remedy, and treatment. I now take dilaudid and use fentanyl for the pain. I spend my days on a couch and watching TV. Over time we came to accept this would be my life. We met and talked to others on Facebook Groups who have had the disease, and those who have had this surgery. The TPAIT (Total Pancreatectomy and Islet Cell Transplant) surgery. The best place we found to go to was Minnesota, although it's extremely rare, the surgery was possible. I'd have my pancreas, gallbladder, spleen, and possibly appendix removed. Then they'd take the islet cells out of my pancreas, and transfer them to my liver. The recovery process would take about two months in Minnesota, and year-two to fully recover. Thankfully, I was accepted, as they only do 15 surguries a year, and evaluate every week. This means I could have my life back though. I could be a teenager again, not have to make life decisions before my life has even started. I've learned so much through this process and met so many people, but I've also learned this is not a life, or at least not the life for me. We've been using everything on both my sister and I's illnesses, please my little family make their way to Minnesota, and help give me a chance at life again.

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Amanda Tucker 
La Jolla, CA
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