Lee VanBoden's New Kidney Journey
My cousin, Sarah began this page for us a while ago, before any of this actually started: Lee had a nephrectomy in Feb, 2015 to remove a polycystic kidney weighing more than 12 pounds (the other, bigger one was left in); the whole family moved to Chicago to be with Lee during the kidney and bone marrow transplant study procedures (the whole thing took 3 months in the spring); Lee received chemotherapy and radiation; then he received a kidney from our good friend, Kristi, as well as her bone marrow.
Sarah started this page as a way to help us afford the above expenses (medical expenses, travel, rent and living in Chicago for 3 months for all 11 of us, all the while Lee wasn't working). I was going to add one final update to this page at thebeginning of September, after Lee got out of the hospital with pneumonia or pleurasy, because Lee was doing fine, and we were home, he was starting to go back to work (although we hadn't had a chance to even begin to look at the bills), to thank everyone and let you know this adventure of our life was over.
However, my last update turned into being the first of a whole new chapter...Lee ended up developing Graft vs. Host Disease of the gut (gi tract), so he's back in Chicago. In short, the bone marrow he received from Kristi did it's job so well, it helped Lee's body accept the new kidney, but it went above and beyond, and started fighting with the rest of his cells, thinking his cells were the ones that didn't belong in his body. This caused his gi tract to become inflamed and unable to process anything. He started out started out having diarrhea, went to the hospital in Syracuse, continued to get worse, then it turned to straight blood. He has been on bowel rest for over 7 weeks now (which means he can't eat anything).
So this "new" page update is to let those of you who have been following and supporting us know how things are going, where we are, etc. Lee has worked very minimally since last Christmas time...and seeing as he still is unable to eat food, I'm not so sure he will be back working anytime soon (or even when he'll be able to go back home), there are a lot of bills piling up, and we have 9 kids.
We would love to have you continue to follow us on our journey, support us, and share our story with others as well. We are believing that this story will have a happy ending!
Here's the original description: My cousin, Angel, and her husband, Lee, are two of the most amazing people I know. They have a great marriage of 23 years, strong faith in God and 9 children - 4 biological (ages: 16, 14, 13, 11), 4 adopted (ages: 11, 10, 9, 7), and 1 to be adopted (age 9) on Feb 18. Angel has her PhD in education and uses that to homeschool all of their children.
Lee is currently suffering from a genetic disorder known as Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). Over the last year and a half, the cysts in his kidneys have caused them to be the size of footballs, causing him much discomfort. He is scheduled to have one kidney removed on February 24th in Chicago.
When looking at his treatment options, Lee discovered a clinical study in Chicago, in which he could have a kidney transplant as well as a bone marrow transplant from a qualified donor. Their good friend, Kristi, has offered and been approved to give Lee one of her kidneys and bone marrow! The transplant will take place on April 23rd, after Lee has had a week of chemo and radiation, to prepare his body to accept her bone marrow after the transplant. Lee will then need to remain in Chicago for three months, spending 3 days a week in the hospital to be monitored and treated for any issues. The whole family (all 11 of them) is planning on moving there for that time to be with Lee.
Kristi will need to be in Chicago the week of Feb 12 for another testing day, a week in March for the bone marrow collection, an additional trip for pre-op testing and again in April for the transplant.
Angel and Lee need your prayers, please, and a lot of financial assistance. Lee is self-employed and will not be working and, therefore, will not be making any money while they are in Chicago, while he’s recovering from the nephrectomy, while he’s not feeling well before then and while he is receiving dialysis in March and April…you get the picture.
They also need affordable housing in Chicago for 11 people within walking distance to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. It’s located on East Huron, St. Clair, and Erie Streets in Streeterville, and very close to the Navy Pier. If anyone has any leads, please let us know.
Also, besides their own airline tickets, they are flying Kristi to and from Chicago and putting her up in a hotel …so if anyone has transferrable airline tickets or hotel accommodations you won’t be using, please consider giving them to Angel and Lee.
Thank you so much for helping this extraordinary family in any way you can!
We were blessed by a bunch of friends and friends of friends who came over today and helped us with a few projects around the house - what a blessing! Don't worry if you didn't have a chance to help today - there's plenty more to do !
I am trying to start a blog to keep everyone, who is interested, updated on us (justthetenofus.com)....however, this is brand new to me and more difficult to create than I thought it would be. I will post here when it is up and running (then this Gofundme page will be closed).
IN THE MEANTIME...does anyone know of a real estate lawyer in Illinois who can help me? The people who we were going to rent the house from wants another $2700 from me! We put some of our things in the house for 3 days...didn't even spend the night there. Paid them one month and the security deposit $1350+$1350). Now they want another two months payment ($2700) because they feel that they were taken advantage of!!!! I'm not sure, but I feel that they are taking advantage of me...but I also don't want them suing me for breaking the lease...
WOW!!! WHAT A PRAISE REPORT! A NEW BORN IMMUNE SYSTEM, compliments of GOD & Kristy! A month out and he's walking around the block, WOO HOO! When you put it that way, even though there are still lots of day to day trials to overcome, the big picture is certainly hopeful! I will be praying for the other kidney to "get out of town" ! God Bless All of You!
Dear Angel, I pray that the surgery went well, for both Lee & Kristi. We are also praying for you and your family and Misty. You are living your faith and that is what God asks us to do. God Bless all of You. I will be waiting for your report tomorrow. God is Good All the Time!
My Condolences to you and your family. But thankful that you get to see him again and that he's in Paradise!
Continuing to pray for Lee and all of you.
PRAYING, PRAYING, PRAYING!
Dear Angel & Lee, I am praying for a miracle also! God works miracles every day and I'm praying that Lee will be one of his miracles. Lee has been a strong warrior in this battle and I pray that he is able to keep battling! Angel, you and all the children and the rest of your family are in my prayers. Keep the Faith!
Prayers to the patient, for healing & for many people to assist you with support. I'm sharing this page on my Facebook.
Hi Angel, I heard a beautiful song today and thought about you and Lee ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OpUlIXDgGk Praying for hope, healing, and peace. Blessings, Deanna
Dear Angel & Lee, I was in shock when Sarah sent me your email before you posted this. So 2 days ago, I sent your story with your photo and the latest developments out to my church Prayer Chain, to all my missionary friends, in Peru, Nicaragua, Peru, Ukraine, also to churches all over the U.S. even Alaska. I asked them to forward it to anyone that would pray for Lee and for your family. I got so many responses, people at this very moment from all over our country and the world are praying for you! We continue to pray and we are thanking God for healing for Lee. Trust, trust, trust!
Continuing to pray for improvement, and healing!
Continuing to pay for you.