Sheelagh McShane Clark needs life-saving liver transplant, as well as a type-o blood donor.
I don’t remember the first time I met Sheelagh. That’s because I was only 2 years old and Sheelagh was 1. We had just moved from Brooklyn to Long Island where our new neighbors, the McShane’s, and my parents had quickly become lifelong friends. Sheelagh and I were, therefore, destined to be the same.
Sheelagh, who lived three doors down to the left on Dollard Drive, myself, and Roseann Galati, who lived 2 doors down on the right soon became inseparable friends. We were often referred to as the Three Musketeers, but to each other we were sisters. Still are. We were joined at the hip and journeyed together through life, school, childhood, those wonderful teenage years, weddings, husbands, children and joy.
We’ve held each other close during the most difficult times in our lives.
I may have been too young to remember the first time I met Sheelagh but I’ll never forget the first time we saw her have a seizure.
The Three Musketeers were together sitting on Sheelagh’s front porch. It wasn’t a full-blown seizure like one would expect, it was more of an uncontrollable quiver. One that Sheelagh tried to control and hide. For Sheelagh that was the day that began a lifetime of doctor appointments, testing, specialists, and medications. I have a vivid memory of Sheelagh recounting a doctor’s visit and being told that it was discovered that the medication she’d been taking for quite some time could cause liver damage. She was back to square one trying new medications and the seizures were back as well.
It has been more than 40 years since then and we’ve learned that Sheelagh’s liver is failing.
The prognosis isn’t good.
The news and the words have hit us and the rest of Shelagh’s family like a freight train. There is little time and she needs a liver or a living donor transplant to save her life.
Illness, hospitalization, and doctor’s appointments have caused Sheelagh to lose her job of more than 20 years. With that she also lost her medical benefits leaving her with no other option except an unaffordable healthcare plan that is beyond her current financial means.
Mortgage and everyday expenses are impossible to afford on top of the medical bills and medications. Her husband, Doug, is working but can’t keep up on a single income and he is worried that the extended time he takes off from work to help Sheelagh will soon jeopardize his job as well. The financial burden has become as heavy as the physical and emotional burden of Sheelagh’s illness.
Sheelagh, who would try to hide the uncontrollable quivers and shakes of her body enduring a seizure, is not one who would ask for help. That’s why we are.
The one single thing we can do is to share Sheelagh’s story and ask that you, or someone with an O- blood type would be willing to learn more about a living donor transplant.
If so, please reach out to us. If not, perhaps you would consider helping through the GoFund Me we’ve set up to help relieve the financial burden, the mounting medical bills, mortgage, medications, electric bills, and then factor in a transplant.
Please donate anything you can, and share Sheelagh’s story. If there's one good thing you do today, have it be this.
This is what we can do together to help Sheelagh. Thank you from the other two Musketeers, Janet (McKeon) McHugh and Roseann (Galati) Bellittieri-Lynch.
DonationsSee top donations
- Gregg Goins
- Brian Flemming
- Charles White
- Aurora Martinez
- Suzanne Terito