"For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack"
Two years ago this journey began. After 41 years as a type I diabetic, due to complications from his diabetes, my dad Robert, was found to be a candidate for a pancreatic transplant at the University of Minnesota Fairview Hospital. My parents started making trips for pre-transplant testing. During testing it was discovered that my father was in need of heart bypass surgery which was performed in April 2012. His recovery was remarkable, and he was approved and placed on the list for the transplant in October 2012.
In January 2013, my parents received the call to head to Minnesota for the transplant. The transplant surgery appeared to go well; however, two additional surgeries were needed because of potential complications. The days and weeks that followed were difficult with many uncertainties. My mother was staying in a hotel and my father in the hospital. My parents were finally able to return to Des Moines in mid-March, after a long, and tiring 45-days, with the understanding that they would continue to make trips back for continued care.
After returning home, my father was doing labs 3 times a week and making several phone calls a week to his transplant coordinator in Minnesota. Things appeared to be stabilizing by July 2013 until he returned for his six month check up when they discovered a virus that was affecting his immune system. He was hospitalized again in Minnesota for week.
Since he wasn't following the normal recovery pattern, his transplant surgeon requested a bone marrow biopsy. At that point it was believed to be the virus that was causing his blood counts to be low. Once the virus was gone, they detected from the bone marrow that he had Lymphoma.
My father is now insulin free because of his transplant. However, a new journey for him has begun. My father returned to Minnesota for a consult and to begin chemo in September 2013. His IV treatments are scheduled every 3 weeks in Minnesota with five days of oral chemo at home. He maintains 3 lab tests a week and continues to take a variety of medications for his transplant.
The virus has returned causing further complications with both his transplant and his cancer. He currently is hospitalized at Mercy Hospital where he has been a patient since November 2, 2013.
My father's medication alone is very expensive, along with trips to Minnesota for post transplant visits, chemo treatments, hospital stays, fuel, hotel, and meal expenses. I wanted to find a way to help my parents with these expenses and offer their loved ones a way of helping as well. So many people have asked how they can help my parents through this difficult time, and this is a great way to show you support to them. A donation in any amount is welcome helps but you are by no means obligated to give at all.
All of my life, my father has been the wolf, the leader of the pack, not only for our family but to so many through his ministry and his fight for justice for all persons. He now needs the strength of "the pack" to help him on his trek toward restored health.
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