Help with bills due to Kidney Diease & Transplant

The Short Version, I have Crohn's disease & a Rare Genetic Kidney disease that over time took my function till I needed dialysis. 5 years in a dialysis chair 3x a week and as of November 10th 2021 I have received a life changing gift from a blessed soul, a kidney. This GoFundMe purpose is to assist my wife and I pay bills incurred during my battle with this disease, the transplant recovery process that she took unpaid FMLA to assist me with. But most of all, get us back to living our lives, starting a family of our own, As the blessed young man’s gift to me demands I honor his life by living the best life I possibly can, for the second chance at life he has selflessly given to me. If you go no further than the short version, Please consider being an organ donor, <3 thank you and god bless.

The Long Version, no I'm not kidding.

Before I get started, I have to give someone a lot of praise, she is a lovely and quite frankly a saint of a woman. Jennifer has been my rock and has stood by me throughout all of these medical difficulties and trials. We were dating for 10 Years, and we did get married on February 14th, 2021, she is the love of my life, the past 5 years has had a lot of difficulty and hardship. This path we were on just made our relationship stronger and both of us stronger, I could not have hoped to find a better partner in crime.




On to Business, I have what is called an Inherited Kidney Disease, and it is called Uromodulin Kidney Disease. (More info on it here https://www.wakehealth.edu/Condition/u/Uromodulin-Kidney-Disease) This disease has taken 4 out of 5, of family members kidneys, my mother, my sister and my brothers as it is genetic. The chance of passing it on is 50/50 to Children, my wife and I decided to put that in indefinite hold while I was waiting for a kidney as if something happened to me, I did not want her to be a single parent. Oh? On top of the I.K.D. I also have Crohn's Disease this has made me very sick throughout my life, eventually I needed a bowel resection since then it has been under control to an extent a thing like this can be controlled.

Some background throughout all of this, I was working in my preferred Information Technology Field, as a jack of all trades 24/7 on call Tier 3 Support I was responsible for a company's data centers, campuses and every device connected to the network in the Chicago land area till June 2018. The company and I parted ways amicably on great terms. I was unemployed for less than a week as through my contacts I found another Tier 3 Support Job Literally Across the street from my old one with only one office and one onsite data center to support.

In July 2018 my nephrologist noted to do my lab work my kidney function was declining to a point to make me eligible to be put on a Kidney transplant list and I would need an AV fistula, this is a connection that's made between an artery and a vein for dialysis access mine was put in my left arm. Per his recommendations, I had the surgery and I contacted a transplant center to begin the process to get on the transplant list. In October 2018 I received two letters, one from the companies Insurance that approved me for transplant intake, that my company received a copy of and the second was from the center giving me the date and time for me to start the transplant list intake process.

The date my transplant list intake process started was Nov 12th, 2018. I had to take the day off of work, at the intake appointment, I was given a sheet with the dates and times for the rest of the tests needed to get qualified for the transplant list. Due to me being six months into a new role, at a new company my manager and human resources never asked me any questions or for a Dr's note if I requested an unpaid day off for a Dr's appointment, this was until the day after my transplant center visit. I asked for the days off that were on the sheet for December, and later in the day I found out I was going to be training someone to help with an upcoming rollout. Ultimately, I was removed from my job by Friday the 16th because I did require more time off to get fully tested and qualified for the transplant list in December. This separation happened the week before Thanksgiving, I do not fault the company at all, just my manager and the HR manager as the company's insurance carrier notified HR via the mail that I previously mentioned.

Dialysis started for me in May 2019, I likely could have started earlier than that as I already had my access. I was prepared for dialysis by my excellent nephrologist, but I put it off as long as I possibly could. Dialysis is no joke, getting stuck with 2 large gauges three times a week and sitting in a chair for 4 hours each session and seeing people carted out by Ems some days is not fun and is very draining, physical and emotionally.

Things were going as well as can be expected for a dialysis patient. Except for an issue arose with my fistula as dialysis techs were poking my arm above where the fistula was located just my luck there was a narrowing, and it clotted off by September 2020 it was not functional and needed to be revised, in the meantime I needed to have a heart catheter for 6 months as my new access for dialysis while my revised fistula healed. The original fistula was just a small section of my lower left forearm above the elbow, after the revision it is now encompassing nearly my entire upper left arm with two scars of a large keloid that kept growing as the access was being used.

Due to all of these circumstances combined, my wife and I have lived at my parent's house and continue to do so, helping my father and my mom with whatever was needed. As when I was growing up, whenever I was sick due to Crohn's and not, my mother took the absolute best care of me that she could. I felt it was the right thing to do to repay her for all her kindness and the sacrifices that she did make on my behalf.

I recently received a kidney from a blessed 25-year-old soul that has passed as of Nov 10, 2021, and I am currently still recovering from the transplant surgery this can take as little 3 months to 6 months or longer to fully recover. (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/4352-kidney-transplant-surgery-returning-to-normal-activities) My Wife took an unpaid FMLA to assist me in my recovery. This has incurred a lot of bills due to the time off she will be without a check, while helping me recover, and this is why I am starting this and going to keep this GoFundMe running, this is so our bills can get paid, and we can emerge from this period of our lives on a more solid footing than we are currently. To get back to living our lives, starting a family of our own as the blessed young man’s gift to me demands I honor his life by living the best life I possibly can for the second chance at life he has selflessly given to me. 
  • Steven Hoerger 
    • $30 
    • 6 mos
  • Steven Lynch 
    • $25 
    • 7 mos
  • Barbara Weiss 
    • $50 
    • 7 mos
  • Geri Haycraft 
    • $25 
    • 8 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 8 mos
See all

Fundraising team (2)

Randal Steffens 
Organizer
Raised $3,255 from 32 donations
Chicago, IL
Jennifer Steffens 
Team member