My name is Robin and I wanted to start off by saying that this was created by me for my friend Cathy and her son Mike. This is my first time using a platform like this and I asked Mike for his email address because I thought it would make the most sense to have his/ their name and information associated with it. They know that myself and others have discussed doing something like this for them, but are not aware that we are going live with this campaign. I want to tell you all about Cathy and Mike's story.
Cathy had been battling PKD for more than a decade and a half and never wavered . She has been treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and was told her condition would improve, but that didn't happen. She had her left kidney removed in 2014 because her kidneys weighed more than 15lbs each (normal kidney is 6-8oz) and had displaced her stomach causing her to vomit after every meal. Her kidney function dropped from 40% to 7% between 2011 and 2017, and Cathy never wavered. People have often commented that they had no clue just how sick she was because other than post surgery, she never missed work. She woke up every day and said " it could be so much worse" and kept working a full schedule until the day before her transplant.(her own doctor could not believe that she was still working at 7% total kidney function)
After years of being on the transplant list, Cathy finally received a kidney from her son, Michael. Mike doesn't want any recognition or credit, but could no longer watch his mom go through life in so much pain. He lost over 90lbs in less than a year to ensure he met the surgery requirements and the donation was scheduled. The donation/ transplant was a success, but now both are faced with extended time out of work and need our help. While insurance does cover major surgery, hospital bills are still upwards of $2,000 and prescriptions are an additional $150/month. These two are very uncomfortable with the concept of asking for assistance from people they know, but are the first to act when others need help. They thank you for anything you can contribute.
- Gail Schwartz
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