This is not a story for the faint-hearted. This is not a story for the hard-hearted. This is not a story that has a happy ending...yet. This story is Tammy's story. She is my best friend and honorary sister, a soft-spoken woman, a spiritual warrior, a survivor. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 5 and has battled it every day since. This battle has included over 48,000 insulin shots, over 72,000 finger pokes, countless visits to the ER, 11 major surgeries, neuropathy (nerve pain), retinopathy (damage to the retina of both eyes), amputation of all the toes on her left foot and a below the knee amputation of her right leg. In early 2006, her kidney function decreased dramatically and almost led to dialysis. In early 2008 she was fortunate to be put on the transplant list at the University of Wisconsin and was blessed with a pancreas-kidney double transplant by Thanksgiving! Tammy, so thankful for her transplant, continued to fight. She began the lifelong rounds of multiple immunosuppressant drugs to prevent organ rejection, physical therapy and prosthetics to help her regain walking and was considering going back to college. This plan was derailed in Sept. 2014 when this hit her: "Transverse Myelitis of unknown etiology." This would be medical jargon for "woke up one morning paralyzed from the neck down." If it sounds absurd, ridiculous, horrific, and heartbreaking, you're right. Tammy is now at home after 3 months at UM hospital, her mother the 24/7 caregiver, in a hospital bed, being transferred in a manual hospital lift, trying to manuver an electric wheelchair-all rental items. And, if you've ever rented anything, you'll know what kind of condition they're in!
So, in today's modern age, where we can access millions of bits of information in nanoseconds from anywhere on Earth; and we can sequence the entire genome of any creature: what is the best her medical team can tell her? "We don't know."
Can there be anything more frightening or frustrating?
Please help me make the strongest person I know a little more comfortable, please help me give a little relief to her family. I am asking on Tammy's behalf for funds to go towards:
Amazon gift cards to purchase supplies outside of what insurance covers (gloves, ABD pads, blue pads, peri-care cleanser and other personal supplies).
A cell phone that is compatible with voice activated features.
Renting (or purchasing) a wheelchair-compatible van for doctor's appointments. Or, renting/purchasing a specialized wheelchair for quadriplegics that can be loaded into a regular vehicle.
Renting (or purchasing) an electric Hoyer lift (insurance will only cover the manual lift).
Thank you for donating!