Rally Around the Rievajs

Mark Rievaj is a 38 year old father of 4 beautiful children ages 11, 9, 6 and 5, husband to Michelle for 13 years, and Mark needs a liver transplant. He is an adventurous optimist with a wicked and quirky sense of humour and loves the outdoors. Their family lives and plays in the East Kootenays where they hike, bike, paddle, ski, skate, and work.

Mark was diagnosed with a degenerative liver disease in his 20s but it has had relatively little effect on his life until the last couple of years. However, in October of this year, Mark learned that his disease had progressed and he would need a transplant sometime before next summer. The family started making plans for this eventuality, but by November he started to have much less energy and was feeling more effects of his disease. On Nov. 26 he was feeling poorly and went to the ER in Invermere and it was determined he was in kidney failure related to his liver failure. He was immediately airlifted to Calgary and admitted to the ICU. After almost a week in the ICU, his condition was determined to be too tenuous to send him home and on Dec 1 he was airlifted to the transplant centre in Edmonton to await a donor liver under hospital care. He has been pushed to the top of the donor recipient list. All of this has happened on a much shorter timeline than anticipated.

Mark will not be home again for at least 4-6 months. Edmonton is 6 hours away from Invermere. Post transplant, Mark is required to live close to the hospital as an outpatient for approximately 3 months and then in Calgary as an outpatient until he is ready to go home. Costs will include accommodation and a 24hr/day caregiver throughout his stay in Edmonton, living expenses when he gets to Calgary, and travel for his family throughout all of this. His medical history precludes him from disability insurance.

Please help us rally around this incredible family! The Rievajs are well known for their generosity, kindness and willingness to help others. Let’s help them get through this difficult time without having to worry at all about finances. Their focus should be on Mark, their family and the end goal of getting Mark home to Invermere.

Thank you so much for your support.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Julia Buttle 
Invermere, BC
Michelle Rievaj 
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