JOIN THE FIGHT: THE STEFAN RUCKER TRANSPLANT RECOVERY FUND
As he prepared for the arrival of his second child, my brother Stef received a medical diagnosis that was both physically and mentally traumatizing. At just 44 years old and in the prime of his life, Stef learned he would need both a heart and a liver transplant.
Stef originally experienced health issues in 2018 and was diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity. Already health conscious and physically fit, the 16 year, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police detective immediately changed his diet and followed doctor’s orders. Adhering to a strict dietary regime and exercise routine did very little to alleviate symptoms like shortness of breath, fluid retention, and lethargy.
In September 2020, Stef learned he’d actually been misdiagnosed in 2018 and was in active heart failure. Doctors at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center diagnosed Stef with a genetic disease called Amyloidosis. Amyloidosis causes abnormal proteins to build up in the body tissue and attack the organs. Stef immediately reached out to Duke University Hospital for a second opinion and the results were conclusive. We are currently at Duke University Hospital awaiting heart and liver transplants and though we are anxiously optimistic, we are simultaneously saddened with the fact that someone has to lose his or her life in order for Stef to live his.
Stef is a fighter; but, he has a long road to recovery ahead of him. Along with your continuous prayers, he’ll also need financial assistance during this time. Stef has been hospitalized since June 6, 2021. His girlfriend Jennifer and their two-month-old son Kayden have relocated to Durham, NC from their residence in Concord, NC. The family had to secure housing because Stef will have to remain in Durham up to two months after the heart and liver transplants. Maintaining two households and growing medical bills are placing a financial strain on the family. As his oldest sister, I’m asking those who love my brother, know our families, know me, or, are just moved by our situation for help. Please donate from the heart; no gift is too small and together, we can accomplish a lot. Please share this campaign with your family, friends, church members, co-workers, neighbors, etc. and know that we greatly appreciate you.
Once again, THANK YOU for your prayers and support and THANK YOU to all the nurses, support staff, and doctors at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center and at Duke University Hospital.
With Sincerest Gratitude,
Catrice Rucker Shivers