As some of you may know, this is Shaun. Shaun is a 15 year old boy who has unfortunately spent the majority of his life fighting. When Shaun was just 2 years old, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He then relapsed at age 9 after another brain tumor was found. Two brain tumors and years of intense chemotherapy have been hard on Shaun. No kid should have to face the things he has or fight as hard as he has but he has done it all with the biggest smile on his face.
Seriously, have you seen him?! PURE. JOY.
Just two months ago, Shaun spent a couple weeks in the hospital. Shaun got very sick at the beginning of November when a simple sinus infection quickly escalated into his body going into liver failure and he ended up being put on a ventilator. Shaun has suffered from liver fibrosis for years (all stemming from his chemotherapy) and his fibrosis very quickly escalated to cirrhosis of the liver. He was not in good condition and they weren’t sure he was going to make it. But, as always, in pure Shaun fashion, he pulled a miracle and his liver enzymes improved! Even with the great news of his liver somewhat improving, Misty was told that Shaun will need a liver transplant in the near future.
Misty has spent the last couple weeks on the phone with doctors, insurance companies, transplant social workers, and everyone in between, all to be told Shaun’s insurance will not cover his transplant AND he cannot even be evaluated for transplant without financial security.
In order for Shaun’s transplant to be covered by insurance and performed at Mayo Clinic (where he has doctored for over 10 years), he needs to be covered under Iowa Medicaid. The only way to do that is for him to receive Social Security for his disabilities. Misty has applied for his Social Security but due to the pandemic, the Social Security office is overloaded and she was told it would be 3-6 months at the very least before they would receive word on the application.
Shaun unfortunately doesn’t have that kind of time. Without the transplant evaluation, they don’t know exactly how much time he has, but they do know, if Shaun gets an infection or sickness of any kind, his liver could shut down (like it started to in November) and he would have zero options. This evaluation is crucial to know the extent of Shaun’s liver disease and hopefully put him on the transplant list. Until then, if his liver fails, there is essentially nothing they can do about it.
The evaluation involves of 3 full days of testing and then his team of doctors meet to discuss whether or not Shaun would be a good transplant candidate (aka does he go on the transplant list or not). The evaluation alone costs $50,000. If he is deemed a good candidate and placed on the transplant list, the transplant costs roughly $340,000.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
This is where we come in! We have the opportunity to step up and love on and support Misty and Shaun. Because Shaun’s immune system is in a compromised state, and with the significant rise in COVID cases, he and Misty will be quarantining. This means Misty cannot work, leaving them with virtually zero income. It is crucial to keep Shaun healthy until he can complete the transplant evaluation at the very least.
Now, if you know and love Shaun, you also know and love his sweet mom, Misty. She is tough as nails, is the best advocate for Shaun and has endured more than most women and mothers her age. This is an extremely difficult and scary time for Misty AND she prides herself in not needing help and being independent, but with a situation like this, doing this on her own is not an option. Let’s step up and be their people right now, when they need it most.
Will you commit to financially supporting Misty and Shaun during this difficult time?
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could fully fund the cost of the evaluation meaning Misty could call Shaun’s doctors and get started on the process immediately!! All money donated will go towards their bills to stay afloat, gas money for travel back and forth from Rochester for appointments, possible lodging expenses in Rochester if needed based on appointment schedule, and ultimately, paying for the transplant evaluation process. Every dollar truly does count.
If you know Shaun, you know how much he lights up a room. You know how happy and grateful he is for everything in his life. You know that he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body and his heart is made of pure gold. This boy has made a difference in this world and continues to do so every day. I can honestly say he makes this world a much better place and I know he isn’t finished making his mark on this world, but he needs our help to get him the best medical care possible.