In the early 2000's my mom was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, a disease that attacks the liver. At that time, there was no known cure for the disease, and she was told that her health would decline over time, eventually leading to cirrhosis of the liver. Her only option at that point was to maintain her health the best she could and wait for a point in time when she would become eligible for a liver transplant.
Over the years she took part in multiple experimental studies to help find a cure, all of which were grueling and tiresome, and none of which cured her. In 2015 she received a miracle in the way of a new treatment that cured her Hep C! While this was great news, unfortunately her liver was too far gone to regenerate the way a normal, healthy liver might do.
When a person needs an organ transplant, there is a very small window of opportunity in which to receive it. Because organs are a very precious commodity, a person's illness has to get to a very dire point for a person to be eligible for transplant. On the other side of that, that person cannot have reached a point where he or she is too sick to withstand the process of a transplant.
For my mom Jill, that window of opportunity is now.
Her family and friends have had to watch her health decline slowly over the years. Beginning with fatigue, water retention, and memory problems, and progressing now to the point of breathing problems and mobility issues. She has undergone extensive testing at the Mayo Clinic to ensure that her body can withstand the transplant. As of June 14, 2017, Mom was informed that a committee of highly trained doctors believe that she is in need of a transplant and she has been added to the list of people waiting to receive a new liver. She can be called in two weeks or two months, so now all we have to do is wait.
This will be such a blessing for her and our family, and add years to her life and drastically improve her quality of life. However, a transplant of this nature carries with it a huge financial burden. The cost of a liver transplant is over $500,000. Medication is another large cost for transplant recipients. Mom will be on medication for the rest of her life to stay healthy and keep her new liver stable, many times this medication can cost an average of $3000 per month. She is lucky to have good health insurance, but she will still have to share some of those costs. Another expense is the round-the -clock care required in the first 30 days after transplant. While family and friends are dedicated to helping with this care, everyone still has their own work and family obligations so we may need to hire a nurse for the times when family and friends cannot be present. Travel and lodging is a huge chunk of this financial need. Mom lives 5 hours from her hospital. She has traveled there twice a year for the past 12 years, and each time she has to pay for travel and lodging. After transplant she will need to be near the hospital for a minimum 30 days, possibly more if there are any complications. She will need to travel back every few months in the first year, and twice a year for every following year.
Mom has been fighting this battle for many years. It has already been financially draining between medication, travel, and her inability to work due to her declining health. We could not be more thankful for this second chance for her, but it comes at a steep cost.
Please consider contributing to this gofundme campaign to help us share the costs of this amazing chance for our family. For me, I get to have my mother around for many more years. My daughter will have the chance to get to know her grandmother. And my mom will be able to live a longer, better life.
- Anonymous Person
- Greg Adams
- Cathy Keaton
- Lyn Kagan
- Nicole Kagan Fuenfer
Organizer and beneficiary
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