22 years ago I was diagnosed with Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes. As a result of living with diabetes for half my life, my kidneys have been slowly and irreparablely damaged. A few years ago my kidneys were at 50% normal functioning. At that time I made some lifestyle changes, began eating healthy foods, and lost over 50 pounds. While the damage was already done, I was determined to do what I could to prevent further damage. Unfortunately, the kidney disease finally caught up with me.
In April 2017, I was hospitalized for three days and diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease. In other words, my kidneys had failed. My kidney function had fallen to below 12% and I would now need dialysis and a kidney transplant in order to live.
Over the the next several months I was very sick, working only about 25 hours a week. By September 2017, I had completed all the screenings and evaluation I needed to be listed as a candidate for a Kidney/Pancreas (KP) Transplant. While I waited to receive a good match for the organs I needed, I began hemodialysis treatments three times a week, four hours each session.
After six months of dialysis, on March 3rd, I got the call for the transplant! The transplant went very well. I was discharged from the hospital just six days later, on March 9th. Since then, I’ve been healing fairly quickly and my lab work looks very good. The levels for my kidney function, blood sugars, and anti-rejection drugs are all very good. I’m feeling better than before the transplant other than getting tired very easily while I heal internally. Unfortunately it will be a while before I am cleared to drive or work even a desk job. As a result, I will be out of work completely for 4-6 weeks or more.
Because I have been so sick over the past year I have long ago used up all my Paid Time Off (PTO, aka sick days and vacation days). I’ve basically been working part time for a year and as a result have burned through all my savings just trying to pay my regular everyday bills, let alone the numerous medical expenses that dialysis and medication requires.
Fortunately because of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) my job is protected and will be waiting for me when I’m ready to return to it. Unfortunately until that time comes it means that me and my wonderfully supportive girlfriend Kimberly are forced to get by on just 50% of our usual income — and things were really tight even before with me working part time.
That’s why I am asking for your help now.
Your donation, no matter how big or small, will go towards making ends meet for the next month or two. That includes mundane bills like paying the mortgage, utility bills, car payments and grocery shopping. The money will also go towards medical expenses such as prescriptions, twice-weekly follow up appointments, and everything else not covered by my insurance. Although I have excellent insurance, the medical expenses still total in the thousands of dollars range.
I know it a lot to ask, and I hate having to ask for money. But this transplant has literally been life-changing (I am no longer diabetic!) and life- saving. I just need some help financially for a couple of months until I am back on my feet and can get back to work.
I would be forever grateful if you would consider donating to my fundraiser. No matter how much you are able to contribute, every dollar helps immensely while I am in recovery.
You could also also help out by sharing my link on Facebook or passing it along to anyone you think might be willing to help.
Thank you so much for listening to my story. Words can’t express my gratitude.
- Chi Sherman
- Tom Lacher
- Laurel Gilchrist
- Toni Taylor-Hilbert
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