My name is Richard Staggs. My wife is Kathey Staggs, but our friends and family call her by her childhood knickname "Skipper".
We live in Memphis, TN with our dog Lily. Upon retirement Skipper and I had been looking forward to gardening, volunteering in our church and community activities, and doing a little traveling. Never in our wildest dreams did we think she would have to retire so soon, and our plans would change so dramatically.
In June of 2012, Skipper was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) which is an incurable lung disease. As a non-smoker we were stunned by this diagnosis. As her disease progresses she is no longer able to work and requiress oxygen 24/7. Her daily activities are becoming increasingly difficult, and a double lung transplant is needed for her survival.
In September of this year and after 4 years of testing at Barnes JewishTransplant Hospital in Saint Louis, MO, Skipper was finally listed for transplant. Until a donor match can be found we will be returning to Saint Louis every 2 months for additional tests and follow up.
At the time of Skipper's transplant she and I will be required to live in Saint Louis for 3-4 months for recovery and rehabilitation. Expenses for the extended stay will include housing, meals, transportation, parking, non-insurance covered medications, and co-pays. These expenses will exceed $45,000.00. As well during this time our household expenses in Memphis will continue.
We have been encouraged by people in our community as well as friends and family to start a GoFundMe account to help us get through this difficult time in our lives. We have always been involved in fund raising for the needs of others but raising funds for ourselves is extremely difficult and humbling. Surviving the transplant will be a challenge Skipper will face with strength and courage as she does each day. Together we will face the financial challenges with the same determiation.
We are so thankful for the many blessings we have had in our lives. None of us know the surprises the future holds for us. We can only have faith and hope that with God's help and the prayers, love, and support of family and friends we we can meet these challenges.
If you find it in your heart to help with a donation we would be truly grateful. Your prayers are appreciated as well, May God bless you and your families with good health and happiness now and through the coming New Year.
Living in Faith
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