Thanks so much for considering donating to this campaign. Steve and Jordan are great people doing it tough and your support means a lot!
On New Year's Eve in 2002 Steve was rushed to hospital. He'd been feeling unwell for a while but that evening he collapsed and after some tests, the doctors told him that his kidneys had failed and he needed a transplant. In November 2003, after eleven months of dialysis, Steve received his transplant. His father had donated one of his kidneys. Everything seemed fine.
(Steve and his Dad)
In January 2004, only a couple of months later, a weekend surgery to correct a lymphatic fluid drainage problem turned into two months in hospital. Things had gone wrong in the surgery and it had damaged his new kidney. This time, it was a slow decline in his kidney functions.
With care and careful management, Steve was able to prolong the life of his transplanted kidney until January 2007 when he had to go back on dialysis. It was only a few months earlier that Steve and Jordan had met and started seeing each other.
(The dialysis process)
This time he was on dialysis for a little over four years. As Steve has put so succinctly to me a number of times, most days he woke up feeling "like a bag of assholes." Three times a week Steve would have to travel to to the clinic for a four hour stint, although eventually, they got a home machine and, after working a 12 hour shift at the hospital, Jordan would hook Steve up to the dialysis machine for his four hour stint. Once they got their own machine, the frequency of dialysis was able to be increased to six times a week, keeping Steve healthier. They even took the machine on their honeymoon!
In 2011, Steve received a phone call from the clinic. A donor kidney had become available. The operation went well and all was good.
(Steve and Jordan on the day of the transplant)
Following this second transplant, Steve and Jordan started a family, Jack is now two and a half, and their daughter Joey is 14 months.
In 2016, Steve started feeling run-down again. His regular appointments at the transplant clinic showed that his kidney was slowly declining, so with a new team of doctors they started investigating into the decline of not only this kidney, but his original one as well. After a lot of testing Steve was diagnosed with a form of lupus, an auto-immune disease where his immune system produces an excess of antibodies that attach themselves to his kidneys, causing inflammation, pain and eventually, destroyed the organ completely (Membroproliferative Glomular Nephritis) (MPGN)
After further blood tests by several agencies across America, the doctor's could not determine the exact nature of Steve's kidney disease - only that it cause MPGN to slowly kill any kidneys that came into his body. Which also means that should he get a third transplant, it may be attacked too.
What we want to raise the money for
Matching compatibility for kidney donation is a tough process; cross-matching antigens and antibodies can be tricky, and it's not often that people are a match when they want to be. Jordan undertook all the compatibility tests and was a match - while she wanted to donate to Steven, the transplant team at Upstate decided the medical risks to her were too great, and that as a group they decided they did not want to leave their children in the position of having two parents with End Stage Renal Disease. Steve returned to dialysis in October 2018, and costs (out of pocket and after insurance) about $1200 a month. At this stage nobody is entirely sure how long Steve will need dialysis for. Additionally, they already have over $7000 in bills waiting to be paid for the testing, medications (epogen) and hospital visits they've already had to go through. Steve also recently got a bill for $14,000 from DaVita for dialysis services.
(Dialysis cost in 2011 - Before Insurance)
Where the money is going
Every cent is going to Steve and Jordan.
We specifically want to raise $7000 to pay off their existing medical bills
This is to cover Ambulance costs, Hospital and specialist visits, compatibility testing, and medications
We also want to raise another $7200 to cover the next six months of dialysis
Monthly Dialysis out-of-pocket Expenses - $1200
Our final big goal is to raise another $25,000 to help their family survive while they're unable to work during recovery.
Once again, thanks for considering donating, it's greatly appreciated! It doesn't matter how big or small the donation is, everything helps!