Mark and Lisa are more than friends, they are my family. If you know them, it's easy to understand why they mean so much to me and all that are lucky enough to know them. And, that's exactly why it hurts me so much to share that Mark and Lisa - along with their 12 year-old son, Wilson - are facing a very difficult situation concerning Mark's health.
In 1994, Mark was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia, a disease in which the bone marrow does not make enough blood cells for the body. After a lengthy battle for survival, Mark's sister donated her bone marrow to save his life. The last 20-plus years have been far from easy, but Mark has overcome. However, his past medical issues have taken a toll on his kidneys. Today, Mark's cumulative kidney function rests at 14%. This number is dangerously low and the only course of action available is a kidney transplant.
We are working with University Hospitals in Cleveland to accomplish many things. Most important on our list of needs is a living kidney donor. Living kidney donation offers Mark the best chance for survival, as there is no time to wait on a list, that sadly contains thousands of others also in dire need, to find a perfect match.
So many of you have asked how you can help, and we are so grateful. But please understand that this is a very hard question to answer truthfully, especially for Mark. So, allow me. At this time, our biggest need is a kidney. So the best way for people to help is to consider becoming a living kidney donor.
The very first step in this process is to know your blood type. The only blood type that will be viable for Mark is type O. If you are O and would consider being tested, please reach out to me directly and allow me to walk through the preliminary steps. The first test in this type matching is a simple blood draw.
This process involves numerous doctor appointments and medical procedures. All doctor visits, testing and transplant team meetings are held in Cleveland. Each and every appointment require both Mark and Lisa to be in attendance. This requires Lisa to be off work and with Mark's health so fragile, he is no longer able to work. As you can imagine, this is taking it's toll on both of them emotionally and financially.
Mark and Lisa are the first to jump in to help someone else in need. They have selflessly sacrificed their time, love and money for others. Now, it's our turn to support them.
This money would help them offset the cost of travel and medical expenses they have and will continue to incur.
Let's do our very best to help this amzing family.
In Hope and Love!
Jessica and Mark's Kidney Beans
- Jen Shesko
- Mike Martin
- Georgina Rodgers
- Pam Jerina
Organizer and beneficiary
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