John's Life

My name is John.  I am 52 years old.  I've been on dialysis since February 2012 awaiting my 3rd kidney transplant with no luck.  In the past I've had 2 full hip replacements, got Hepatitus C from the first transplant, 3 heart attacks, 5 stents, 5 surgeries on my fistula (dialysis access point in right arm).  In the past year alone, I have had 3 heart attacks (6 total), a triple bypass, my aortic valve replaced, At Christmas 2017, I got shingles, a defibrillator put in, countless hospital stays and numerous additions to medications.  I worked at UPS as a part time employee but no longer qualified for any benefits as I couldn't work the minimum hours required per union rules to qualify.  I have been out of work since June 18, 2018.  On July 2, 2018 I was told I needed to have a heart and kidney transplant at the same time.  I couldn't just have a kidney transplant as my heart only functions at  13 percent and isn't strong enough.  I was given 12 to 18 months to live without the transplant.  I was in the hospital with what was suspected to be a rare blood infection the first 2 weeks of September.  Unfortunately in this case, on September 12, I was told it wasn't an infection, its leukemia (Chronic Myeloid Leukemia or CML).  Its treatable but not curable.  I then, on September 19, got the call from the transplant team telling me I cannot ever have the dual transplant due to the leukemia diagnosis.  I luckily have been with my girlfriend Alyson, for almost 21 years and she has been supporting me throughout my countless illnesses over the years.  I do receive SSDI, however it isn't nearly enough after rent, Medicare insurance premium, MA health premium (to cover what Medicare doesn't),  food and medications.  I'd be in the red and homeless or already dead  if my girlfriend wasn't covering everything else like utilities, food, credit cards etc.  I cannot get life insurance and don't want to leave any additional debt for my girlfriend to handle.  We can't afford to move to a cheaper place as the travel to hospitals and dialysis needs to be close and are 20 minutes away now.  I'm not looking to get rich by any means, I just want to leave as little debt as possible and if there's enough, cover the funeral when that time comes.  I'm finally setting my pride aside and asking for help.  I am reaching out to anyone that can relate to a horrible medical history, a fellow union brother/sister, a fellow UPS worker, anyone that can help, please do.  If you would rather not, that's fine then please donate the gift of life and become a living donor so fewer people will not go through what I am as the majority of my illness are all common side effects for kidney failure patients.  Thank you for reading my story.   

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John Norcross 
Newton, MA
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