He’s not one to complain, though, so you’re probably not aware of his struggle.
Jon was born 36 years ago with Glycogen Storage Disease Type III (GSD3), an extremely rare genetic disorder. As a result, Jon has suffered from an extremely large, deteriorating liver, low energy, and a high vulnerability to life-threatening damage from physical trauma. Now, as a direct result, Jon suffers from late-stage cirrhosis of the liver and needs a liver transplant.
Despite these challenges, and doctors who claimed he would never be able to work and have a normal life, Jon completed a college apprenticeship and became a certified mechanic, opening his own shop so he could control his work at a pace he could handle. His whole life, Jon has done what the doctors told him – he avoids things that are dangerous to him like physical sports and alcohol. He follows a strict and restrictive diet to keep as healthy as possible.
Unfortunately, while Jon was able to delay his disease, his liver damage has inevitably progressed. In 2012, the cirrhosis and associated hypertension caused blood vessels in his esophagus to break and release blood into his stomach. Recently, the disease progressed to ascites, causing more weakness and discomfort. Now, in end-stage liver disease, Jon has had to give up his business in order to stay alive. He is currently in an extremely vulnerable state, and if his condition worsens - for example, if he gets a liver infection - Jon may have as little as 2 weeks to live.
The good news is that, because Jon has been careful and done what his doctors tell him, he’s an excellent candidate for a transplant. Should a liver transplant be successful, Jon is expected to have a good chance at a normal life again.
Of course, the financial and emotional stress has been very hard on Jon and his wife Charla, who now has to work full-time to pay the bills. Once Jon gets a transplant, however, Charla will have to care for him for months and will not be able to maintain her employment. On top of this, there are very high costs associated with travelling to specialist medical facilities in Ontario for testing and other medical workups, not to mention very expensive medications not fully covered by Pharmacare and other ongoing health costs.
On behalf of Jon, I ask that you please help him and his wife through this very difficult chapter in their life. Anything you can do to help support is more appreciated than you can know, as are your thoughts and prayers.
Thank you so very much.
- GHY International
- Tiffany Tougas
- Elfie Martens
- Graeme Boon
Organizer and beneficiary
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