Here's the quick down and dirty: Heart issues run in my fam, coming from Dad's side. By his 70th birthday two years ago, he was already a survivor of several heart attacks, had several angioplasties, and a few stents in his heart, to boot. In early 2016, a few months after celebrating seven decades around the sun, his walking all of a sudden became labored. Then his head started to droop, and muscles started to atrophy... it wasn't good. (We were unsure the trigger... perhaps a new blood statin that hit the market in late 2015 that he was using, but it's still a mystery.) He went to specialists in Madison to see what was going on, and they essentially gave him a death sentence, diagnosing him with an ultra rare disease called MSA, or Multiple System Atrophy (a cousin of Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's disease). But not going down without a fight, he scheduled an appointment at Mayo Clinic to look for a second opinion, and he got one - a hopeful one (Mayo is freaking amazing). Madison had it all wrong. He did not have MSA, but rather axial myopathy. After they discovered it was acquired and not hereditary, they knew they could treat it. The IVIG treatment they prescribed was expensive, though, and after a battle with health insurance, he finally got it (although not in the dosage that Mayo wanted). After a few months of this treatment into late 2017, things were looking up! He was back to supporting his head again (he couldn't before, needing to wear a collar), and he was moving tons better. But it was time to go back to Mayo for a checkup and more tests on his condition, so a week and a half ago here in January 2018, he and his girlfriend Kathleen made the pilgrammage. The test procedures were going well, and we had a great visiit while he was there. But then on Wed Jan 24th he started to cough. Then halfway home from Mayo on Thurs the 25th the cough became fierce, and he became delirious. Urgent care could do nothing, and he ended up in the ICU in our hometown before even getting home from Mayo. It was influenza. (Let's not forget his heart condition is still there and his breathing was labored because of his muscle condition.) The flu was so bad they had him transported to St Vincent's in Green Bay, WI, where they diagnosed pneumonia, as well! THANKFULLY on Monday morning Jan 29th we had some good news that he was coming out of it, and while he still has a ways to go, we've had small victories since then, and a string of good days.
I guess you never know exactly how and where help will arrive, but when my ride or die buddy Ken Wills heard about this mess, being the giver he is, he decided that our already planned Super Bowl Thursday Dance Party at his wonderful restaurant Cavé Vin in south Minneapolis would now be a benefit for my father and our family. The extra living and travel expenses have piled up, and this will be a way to alleviate some of it. We've set the goal at $2,120, dad's birthday:)
If you can make it to the party, fantastic! I'll be spinning the tunes (we're known for our Prince/Purple parties at Vin, so FYI;), the donation-based food spread will be amazing, there will be a cash bar for some of the most awesome wine in town, and we'll raise some cash just as my dad would enjoy doing it: shenanigans ;) Join us in an awesome kickoff to Super Bowl weekend on our own Super Thursday party, and have a good time away from the frozen downtown crowds and party for a good cause! (And while the street parking at Vin is totally free, if you want you can FEEL like you're downtown by pretending this free parking is actually $20 like downtown and throwing that in the donation pot! haha)
And if you can't make it, but feel like a donation is on your heart, you can do that right here, and my dad and our family are forever grateful:) ❤️