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Team Candy - Heart Transplant Fund

$5,371 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 56 people in 4 months
Created August 9, 2018
Team Candy
Candy is a truly inspirational, kind, positive, happy person who was well deserving of being one of the lucky chosen few to receive a heart from a selfless donor family. Her upbeat cheerful attitude is contagious and has gotten her through this very difficult situation. Candy was diagnosed with cancer as a child and lost her leg at the tender age of 14. She has overcome and survived many medical obstacles most of us would have succumbed to. Candy is a fighter and loves life and lives it to the fullest everyday! Unfortunately with months in Brigham & Women's Hospital and outrageous medical expenses, Candy is recovering from this life changing major surgery and struggling to pay nearly $100,000! Let's support this awesome person and hear from her directly:

My name is Candy Oyler and I just got heart transplant!  I am a survivor of pediatric bone cancer at age 14 and a breast cancer survivor at age 42.  I live a positive, grateful, and optimistic life full of hope one day at a time. Every birthday is celebrated!  My heart failed because of a chemotherapy drug called Adriamycin given at toxic levels when I had bone cancer.  The bone cancer resulted in a below knee amputation.  Later on in life I had a mastectomy for the breast cancer.  I have had congestive heart failure for 15 years due to the Adriamycin toxicity 43 years ago and this was well managed until I went into AFIB last September. This is the story I would like to share with you. 

I was scheduled in March for mitral valve replacement with a bovine (cow) heart valve.  A tricuspid ring and a maze procedure. (I laughed because my dad was a milkman!)  It was really scary because I coded twice after the pacemaker implantation.  I was in the ICU for 2 weeks, then I went to a “step up” room, (more like a regular hospital room) for the rest of the month. Eventually I was released to a friend’s house with a first floor bedroom and bath. Team Candy , a group organized with love by a extraordinary  friend, Dawn MacLeod  took great care of me.  However my fluids increased because the diuretic didn’t work and the hospital admitted me again. My heart was just not functioning well.

After another month in the hospital and retaining close to 30 pounds of fluid, I was interviewed for a heart transplant and unanimously approved!  I was allowed to go home and get my affairs in order.  My will, health care proxy and power of attorney were in place. I loved being home for the first time in over four months and I had a visit with my father who is 91 and living at the Holyoke Soldiers Home for the past year. I am tough like him.

When I got to the hospital they placed a pulmonary artery line in my neck on Tuesday morning. This helped me advance from 1B to 1A status for transplant. I was 1A and ready for an extra long stay at the hospital, a 6 months to 1 year wait for heart transplant while tethered to the bed with a PA line in for 10 days and out for 1, then again for the duration while waiting. I was in for 5 days and I got the call for a transplant Saturday evening at 6 p.m.! They had one white blood test left to confirm a perfect match and the heart would be mine. At, 6:30 p.m. I received an outside call from my doctor, It was my heart and a perfect match! Off to catscan and down to surgery. Sunday June 24,2018  my new heart birthday!

I am so blessed with this donor heart; and eternally grateful to the brave family that decided to donate.  It is a true miracle. I am making strides and beating the odds. The doctors are saying I am doing great. Thanks be to God and all your prayers for this miracle heart.  ❤
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November 27th is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving. Join me along with your friends and family by giving to My Heart Transplant Fund and help alleviate the exorbitant medical costs I have endured from the transplant. I appreciate everything Team Candy has done this year to support me as well as be driving forces for my fundraising efforts. I am very grateful for this miracle heart and blessed to be alive. Christmas is a magical time of year and I am thankful to be here for it!
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Last Thursday I went to Boston for another heart biopsy to check my new heart for rejection. I received a zero rejection for the second time out of 7 biopsies! Happy and relieved to be going in a positive direction!

Had a clinic appointment for an hour to manage medicines and side effects. Hard to believe I got the heart issues 43 years ago to beat bone cancer and then breast cancer, and now side effects from transplant drugs , the steroids and diabetes have wreaked havoc as well as magnesium.

Oh well, did I tell you “I have a new heart” and I can do things I haven’t done in years. I don’t get out of breath anymore. I even danced at another transplant recipients fundraiser this past Saturday! OMG! I felt normal for “these boots were made for walking” doing my marches I do in physical therapy

I have to be super careful for the first year and still can’t drive. I continue with , physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing at the house twice a week and many other doctor appointments. Keep me in you prayers as I appreciate your love and support❤️I am forever grateful for the grace of God and for my miracle heart , This amazing gift of life is life giving along with Peace and joy it brings. Love Candy
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$5,371 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 56 people in 4 months
Created August 9, 2018
Team Candy
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$250
Nancy Webb Stroud
2 days ago
RF
$25
Rose Ferraro
20 days ago
WW
$100
Wendy Webber
28 days ago
EH
$100
Erin Hornyak
1 month ago
LL
$200
Lisa Linton
1 month ago
WZ
$100
Walt Zak
1 month ago
LR
$50
Liz Rappaport
2 months ago
JG
$25
Jeffrey Goodless
2 months ago
MS
$25
Mona Swanson
2 months ago
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