The goal of this fundraiser is to help me take back my life from the monster that is end-stage renal disease (ESRD), also known as kidney failure.
My story with ESRD began in early 2017, when my ankles started swelling. That summer, the swelling began to spread up my legs. Visits to various doctors came up short with no official diagnosis. I assumed Especially in the winter months, the new job is much more physically demanding. Despite the increase in daily activity, I continued to balloon up. A work injury in February took me off my feet for 8 weeks, in which the swelling grew at a frightening pace. I also was unable to move, and for a period I required a cane or wheelchair to get around the house. By late March, when I was diagnosed with ESRD, I'd grown to weigh almost 300 pounds (136 kg) from retaining fluid and other waste.
I was rushed into surgery to install a catheter in early April. A couple of days later, I began dialysis treatments three days per week. I also committed to several different lifestyle changes, including diet restrictions, new medications, and tighter control of my type I diabetes, to help keep my ESRD from causing more damage. Since then, I have lost about 100 pounds (45 kg) of fluid and waste, and I have regained my mobility. I'm working toward the final goal of a kidney/pancreas transplant. If successful, it would mean I could fully return to all the activities I enjoyed before ESRD.
The money raised here will be used to catch up on medical bills that I've incurred during this process. As I've been off work for roughly six months this year, the fundraiser will also help pay down loans and bills I've incurred trying to keep myself afloat during this time. The doctors and staff at the hospital look at a patient's financial standing when deciding if they are a good candidate. If we reach the goal on this fundraiser, I'll have my outstanding debts paid and will be in a good financial position to move forward with the transplant.
It took a lot of soul-searching and serious conversations with family and friends to open this fundraiser. My main concern is that I initially felt that I had nothing tangible to offer in exchange for people's donations and help in spreading the word. I can, of course, offer my deepest gratitude for any help you can provide. Every donation, no matter what the size, will help me in reaching my end goal of returning to a normal life, including helping others and making them happy. Even if you don’t donate, helping spread the word by sharing on social media will help a ton.
Once again, thank you so much for checking out my page. I’ll be glad to answer any questions you have.
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- Leslie Dauer
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