Medical Fund For Surgery/ Dialysis

$1,710 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 15 people in 1 month
Created April 21, 2018
Some of us are very fortunate to enjoy relatively good health…yet we take it for granted.  For others, like my dear friend, Jorge Romero, good health is relative to each moment.

On May 9th, Jorge will be having surgery to remove both of his kidneys.  He and his family need financial assistance to help with the expenses of surgery and the process of recovery, his continued dialysis treatment, and the possibility of a kidney transplant very soon, thereafter.  My friend and his family need our help!

I have known Jorge for approximately 13 years. He is a board member of the CTBCC Buddhist center here in El Paso.  He is a kind, gentle, compassionate human being who never complains about anything.  He has a beautiful family… a wonderful wife, Mireya and a 16-year-old son, Sam, who are his main support system, however, he has touched the lives of many of us, and so we are inspired to lend a helping hand in his time of need.
                            Jorge with his wife, Mireya

                   Jorge with Sam (son) and Mireya

           Jorge with other board members at CTBCC

Medical History/ Disease Progression

In 2005, Jorge was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD).  “PKD is an inherited disorder in which clusters of cysts develop primarily within your kidneys, causing your kidneys to enlarge and lose function over time resulting in kidney failure.”

Jorge’s father and older sister had PKD and by 2005 they were both on dialysis.  Sadly, they have both passed away.  His sister passed away about one month ago after losing her battle with this disease.

When Jorge was diagnosed with PKD, he had 50% kidney function.  By 2013 he was in kidney failure and was placed on dialysis; first, peritoneal dialysis and three years later on hemodialysis, after developing a fungal infection. This type of dialysis has placed more stress on his body and limited his activities, requiring a special diet and fluid management…it’s been a life-altering process, to say the least.

Dialysis vs. Kidney Transplant

Basically, Jorge will need to have dialysis treatments for the rest of his life unless he is able to get a kidney transplant.  Life expectancy on dialysis can vary, but the average is 5-10 years.  Most research indicates that the typical patient will live 10 to 15 years longer with a kidney transplant than if kept on dialysis. People generally report having more energy, a less restricted diet, and fewer complications with a kidney transplant than if they stay on conventional dialysis.

Why surgery?

Normally, for a transplant, the old kidneys are not removed. The patient ends up with three kidneys. In Jorge’s case, because he has PKD, his kidneys have enlarged and there would be no space for the transplant, therefore, both kidneys need to be removed in preparation for the transplant.

Effects of PKD on his life and family

I can’t even start to imagine what it might be like to receive dialysis treatments three days a week, four hours per session.  When I asked Jorge what it was like for him, he stated that initially, “it felt like my brain were dry, I felt confused, I couldn’t think straight.  Now I feel it in my legs.  Eventually, everyone ends up using a walker or wheelchair”.

For the past 13 years, Jorge has had to adapt to a new life.  In addition to the discomfort of the disease and the dialysis treatment, Jorge has had to cope with “feelings of being useless”, as his ability to continue working is limited.  He used to do warehouse labor but now he is limited to light activity; his muscles continue to atrophy due to limited physical activity and because of the fistula in his left forearm he has to be extra careful to protect it since it is his means for receiving dialysis.  Jorge feels he now has to depend on others for even simple tasks.  This has been difficult but he is teaching his son, Sam, how to do many things he can no longer do and he is working on accepting the help of those that love and care for him.

As you might expect, this disease has had a huge impact on his family. They, too, have struggled emotionally…the uncertainty of life and the impermanence of all things. Although they had an intellectual understanding of this disease and its implications, no one could have prepared them for the reality of it. Fortunately, Jorge is a spiritual warrior and he has been able to see the gift derived from this whole situation. He feels strongly that his compassion for others and their suffering has increased greatly. He is motivated every day to do the best he can so that his life may be meaningful in spite of the inconvenience of this disease. He told me that having a transplant would give him more time to fulfill his promise to help others. He is even grateful for dialysis as this has extended his life; without dialysis, he would have died years ago.

Medical Expenses

According to the U.S. Renal Data System, one year of hemodialysis can total $72,000. Jorge receives Medicare benefits and it will cover 80% of the cost; however, 20% of this amount is still $14,400 per year!! As you can imagine, this would place a great strain on the finances of most people. And this is not even considering the cost of the surgery Jorge will have on May 9th and the cost of a possible kidney transplant.

Please Help

Our goal is to raise $20,000.  I pray that you sense the urgency of Jorge’s medical situation.  If you have the means, and are inspired to help this precious being so that he may have the opportunity to improve the quality of his life, would you PLEASE consider making a donation to Jorge’s medical fund?  Any amount of donation is greatly appreciated…$5, $10…any amount is helpful!

And would you please keep Jorge and his family in your prayers?

Many blessings to you and your loved ones.  And may all beings be happy and free of suffering!

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Just a note to let you know that Jorge had surgery today and he is doing well. Both kidneys were removed; it was a little more complicated than expected but it was successful. He is in recovery and will be moved to a room soon. Won't you please share this fundraising event with friends and family as we have quite a way to go to help meet his medical bills. Of course, Jorge and his family are eternally grateful for your generosity. Let's see if we can't get closer to our goal. I will keep you all posted with updates as I receive them. Thank you for all your prayers!!!
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At the end of our 1st day, I am thrilled to report that we have received $640! More than I ever expected! To all of you that made a donation today, our most heartfelt thanks! If this is an indication of the support Jorge will receive, I am confident we will be able to meet our goal. Thanks again for your kindness and generosity!

To any of you that may be contemplating making a donation, please remember that any amount is greatly appreciated.
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$1,710 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 15 people in 1 month
Created April 21, 2018
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Hilda Martinez
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