We're Doing This For Debbie
Hello, my name is Gerry Jones and I would like to take this time to tell you an unfortunate story about my wife Debbie Patterson. Debbie is, has, and always will be my best friend. We met in September of 1999 and got married October 2010.
In late 2009 Debbie went to our family doctor when it was time to have her yearly checkup and bloodwork done. The doctor found that Debbie's kidney functions were a little off, so he ordered an ultrasound. About 3 months later Debbie was sent to a specialist where she was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease. It’s an incurable genetic disease that slowly deteriorates your kidneys with benign cysts.
In 2010 Debbie's kidney functions was at 85%. Today 2016 her functions are at less than 15%.
Debbie is currently on the transplant list at Indiana University in Indianapolis. Every 2 hours someone dies because they cannot get a kidney in time for their transplant. Debbie has been informed that she could possibly have a 4 year wait for a matching deceased donor kidney. Hopefully someone in our circle of friends and acquaintances will be a match. Her blood is blood type “O positive”, but unfortunately for her that is what the majority of the population is and that is why Debbie has to wait so long to get a kidney. You see, only blood type O recipients can get organs from type O or from a special type A-2 blood type donors. My blood type is “B positive” which doesn't help this situation at all.
There are so many aspects to kidney transplant. Insurance helps tremendously, but there are so many other things that insurance doesn't help with like travel to and from for checkups, loss of wages, and anti-rejection medication.
We own our own trucking business (one truck and one trailer) which I will have to be off work for a couple weeks until Debbie has recovered enough to get back on her feet and can get around. We have to make 4 bi-weekly trips to IU for checkups and each trip are 4 hours plus the 2 hour drive time. So once I do get the truck back on the road, I will have a limited work schedule until Debbie has fully recovered.
I created a Facebook page behalf of my wife Debbie and I hope that everyone will get educated on this disease. Also, it will have all of the fund raising meeting dates and other pertinent information. The name of the page is "We're Doing This For Debbie" so please feel free to check it out.
As a family, we have never been one to put personal things on Facebook but this is something that is very important and a very do or die situation. This is why the Go Fund Me campaign is so important. If you do nothing else at all, please visit the Facebook page and learn about this disease. You could very well have it and not even know it. Please help us out with whatever you can do.
This was the very first post that I put out on her benefit page about a year ago. I decided to repost it and boost it to get more exposure.
It all happened one day in September 1999, I walked into work on Washington Street here in Columbus Indiana and little did I know that my whole life was about to change. She was short, dark hair with very dark eyes, was wearing a pair of blue jeans and a red sweater. From that day on Debbie Patterson owned my heart and soul like nobody in my past life ever had before. We went to lunch that day and she took me to her favorite place, Garcia's and we still go there when we can even now. That first encounter was as natural as if I had known her my whole life.
We never run short of subjects to talk about. When we left the restaurant and walked back to her Jeep, I took her hand in mine and it was like magic. I don't believe in physical contact on the first meeting so there was no goodbye kiss. A matter of principles and respect for the lady. So I had no real idea if she was interested enough or not in another encounter because I had a biker gathering that weekend. This was before I had a cell phone, but I did have a pager and unfortunately the pager had no signal out there in the middle of nowhere where I was. I did, however, remember that she bowled on Friday nights there in Columbus so I decided to go and surprise her. I walked into the bowling alley about the start of the third game (because I got lost on the way there) and she was pretty surprised to see me. I walked her out to her Jeep and this time....yes the goodbye kiss was definitely on the agenda.
Leaving was really rough and once again, I am not the pushy type so no plans were made. I rode back through Columbus that Sunday around 11:00am and stopped and called her. It was Hope Heritage Day weekend and her daughter Casey had a softball game. She asked me to accompany her, and I have been in Debbie Patterson's life ever since. I have never in my life cared for someone like I do her and Casey with the exception of my own daughter Avalon. I knew in my heart of hearts that Debbie was my soulmate.
After she and her daughter met my little girl Avalon who was 5 at the time and she got to know her, it became evident that her heart was bigger than anyone person I had ever met in my passed. Avalon was having a really bad time in her situation back then. Debbie asked me straight up what WE were going to do about the situation Avalon was having to deal with at 7 years old living with her mom, I knew I had found my life long partner. Together she and I got parental custody of Avalon, and believe me when I say this that it wasn't a bed of roses for Debbie to deal with a blended family.
It's really true that when you find the right one, everything else is second and it all seems to fall into place. I asked Debbie to marry me that following Valentine's Day and she said yes. Even though we had an 11 year engagement, I would not change a thing. We finally married on October 15th 2010 in the Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge Tennessee. You really know it’s the right person when a) you cannot wait to get home to them, b) holding hands is second day nature and always has been, and c) everyday seems like just yesterday and you never get sick of being around them and don't want to continue your life without them under any conditions.
Before we got married Debbie went to our family doctor and it was time to have yearly bloodwork done. He found her kidney functions to be a little off, so he ordered an ultrasound. About a month later she was sent to a specialist where she was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease. An incurable disease that slowly deteriorates your kidneys with benign cysts.
In 2010 and her kidney functions then was at 85%. Today her functions are at less than 20%, she is on the transplant list at IU in Indianapolis. Every 2 hours someone dies because they cannot get a kidney in time for their transplant. She is on a solid 4 year wait for a matching deceased kidney.
But hopefully someone in our circle will be a match. She is blood type O+, unfortunately I am blood type B+ so mine won't do her any good otherwise if I could I would give her both of them.
She and I have talked and as soon as she has her kidney transplant, I am donating one of mine simply because it's the right thing to do. It's really hard to see someone you care so deeply about go through what Debbie is having to deal with.
There are so many aspects to kidney transplant. Insurance helps tremendously, but there are so many other things that insurance doesn't help with. Travel to and from for checkups, loss of wages, parking, and other things that I cannot really think of. With us owning our own truck like we do, I have to park it and help take care of her for at least a couple weeks until she gets back on her feet and can get around. We have to make 4 bi-weekly trips to IU for checkups and each trip are 4 hours plus the 2 hour drive time.
So to be honest, we have no idea what or how fund raising works. We have created a Facebook page on Debbie’s behalf. I hope that everyone will get educated on the disease. Also, it will have all of the fund raising meeting dates and other pertinent information. I do know that Debbie and I are not to be involved any way so I guess it's up to people we love, know, and trust the most and also people who just really feel the need to be there, do right by their fellow man, and want to help with this situation cause God knows we are going to need all the help we can get! So please re-post this and have everyone you know post it and keep passing it on because the more help of any kind we can get the better chances we have of making this work. Debbie is my life. I have no life without her!
Debbie does not believe in putting things on Facebook but this is something that is very important and a very do or die situation. Within the next day or so you all will be getting a special invitation to visit a special page that Debbie and I have created to inform all of you about the horrors of this dreaded disease.
If your are the least bit interested in helping Debbie out, please call Kelly at IU Transplant as she is the coordinator and be sure you let her know either when you talk to her or if you have to leave a message that you are interested in kidney donation for Debbie Patterson.. The phone number is...1-800-382-4602. She will do a phone interview and process all the info you give her to see if you are qualified. If by chance you are qualified she will send you a testing packet and give you the info as to how to proceed with testing to see if you are a match. Please, please, please share this post.
I am posting this in hopes of aquiring additional funding to help in further publicizing my search for my wife Debbie Patterson a living kidney donor. Debbie suffers from Polycystic Kidney Disease and is in late stage 4 kidney failure. Her kidney functions at this time are at 14% and yes both kidneys are contaminated with cysts. My goal is to stragically place an ad on a interstate billboard in hopes that a potential donor will see it and be compelled to help my wife with this life saving donation. Debbie's blood type is "O+", Here are a few more things you might like to know to get you better aquainted with Debbie.
Debbie’s age is 57 soon to be 58.
Debbie is 5 feet tall even.
Debbie has no siblings at all and she only has 6 cousins all of whom are either the wrong blood type or in to bad of health to be able to help her with donation.
Debbie is married of course to me. She is a faithful attendee at Flintwood Weselyn Church.
Debbie has one daughter Casey Dawn, stepdaughter Avalon Michelle and a stepson Joshua Michael.
Debbie’s only daughter also has Polycystic Kidney Disease.
Debbie has 3 grandchildren Jaden, Kellan, and Aedyn.
Debbie is in excellent health with the exception of the Polycystic Kidney Disease that is trying to kill her.
Debbie has never smoked in her life.
Debbie has never ever done any illegal drugs.
Debbie doesn’t drink.
She is very protective of all living creatures.
She loves animals but her favorite are cats.
So, these are a few facts about my loving wife and believe me when I say this, I have done everything I can to donate one of my kidneys but Indiana University Health refused to let me. I am finishing this post with a short video I put together to further get you acquainted with my best friend in the whole world. Remember, dialysis is a short term fix and it shortens her life. The best possible scenario is for a live donor to come forth. It must be someone who is altruistic at heart. If you are in the slightest bit interested in being a living donor for Debbie and you have type “O” blood you must call Indiana University Transplant at 1-800-382-4602 and talk to Kelly. I have been told that she will discourage you from donating so unless you’re serious, please don’t call.