Vance Merrill Kidney Miracle

$32,656 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 163 people in 30 months

We are the Merrill's and here is the scoop! Vance (our Daddy) needs a new kidney. This is an expensive surgery and not only will he be undergoing the surgery but one of us, Kessa, Ridge, or Mom will be giving one of our kidneys.
Our DAD will need to be off of work during his healing time. We are hoping that he will not have to do dialysis (blood filtering processes) while we wait on the transplant workup to be completed. For now the workup includes tests, tests and more tests!! This can add up fast BEFORE the transplant can even commence.
The money will go toward all of the medical expenses that have already started and will continue to come.

Dad will need to be on medications for the rest of his life. These are the ones that he is already taking now for the kidney he got back in 1999 from his awesome sister, our aunt Leslie!!!! (thank you for your awesome gift of LIFE!) These medications are expensive and as Dad is off of work he will need the money to pay for them.

He has had to take 30+ pills a day to keep that kidney from his little sister alive for the past 18 years. That kidney has the same disease, IgA Nephropathy, and is in stage 4 Kidney Disease.

By doing this Go Fund Me we could really relieve our Dad's stress about money that would also help him to enjoy the time he has while he is working and waiting for the new kidney.
We are thankful to all that will help in our journey and we know it comes in many ways. Prayers are how our miracles have come and money is how we have made our way through the bills.
When Our Daddy had his first transplant in 1999 it gave him a great life to be with us and Mom. We have also had two miracle babies (our sister Kinley and brother Harry) after that transplant which he loves and adores!

We are so thankful to the many people who want to help in any way. This will help us in so many ways!
This fund will be open today and continue to be open until after the transplant. We are guessing and estimating on the dates for this to be done. Possibly in May/June 2017 at the earliest. We will post on our FB accounts the updates regarding the treatment and surgery.
Love,
Kessa, Ridge, Kinley, Harry and MOM (Tina)
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I have felt prompted to provide a family update on this Giving Tuesday! So much love and support happening across the world. I am happy to report that with another kidney checkup next week, I have been able to return to part time work. It has been exhilarating and a learning experience. It feels amazing to be contributing and making an impact. I am feeling great as my energy levels continue to improve to match what I am asking my body to do. I look forward to the future and becoming self reliant again. I am so grateful for my family and the continued support that comes from so many of you. Our life is not without continued challenges but the best thing is having a support system to rely on. I want to give a loud shout out to KESSA!! Her selflessness in donating a kidney to save my life has inspired so many. She is amazing and continues in her selfless service to others. So proud of her service and commitment to living right. Also pretty proud of her working so hard towards graduating from ASU. Go Devils!! Our family is so grateful for you all and wish you the best Holiday Season and a Merry Christmas!! Much love to you all and may your 2019 be amazing!!
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Almost 6 months ago my Dad (Vance) and I (Kessa) headed into surgery to have a miracle performed! My healthy kidney was transplanted to my Dad to allow him to live a better life and get to be with his family a little bit longer. The surgery was successful and after a few days of recovery we both were home and onto recovery on our sofa. We haven’t shared too much about recovery at home but this was an extensive process for not only myself but my Dad as well.

Hands down I can say I spent a solid two months on a sofa, sleeping there for the first two weeks and off an on for the next few months because it was more comfortable to my body at the time. I spent lots of days on pain relievers and had to rely on the help of those around me to do every little thing. I walked laps around our kitchen counter trying to work up my energy each day and make sure my incisions were healing correctly. I think I wore makeup and got ready completely maybe twice in the course of 3 months because my energy was zapped. Everything I did before took A LOT more time than normal. I had to rely on the help of those around me. I had countless visitors which I am incredibly grateful for. Friends who would sit on my front patio in lawn chairs with me because we couldn’t quite allow visitors into our home because of the risk of my Dad getting sick, any illness could and can turn into something much worse in his body. My physical pains started to subside but I then dealt with depression and anxiety as part of my recovery. I honestly did not feel like myself. Days of doubt. I had lots of anger and pain in my heart. Those days subsided though as I found other things to focus on and those things slowly began to heal my heart! I still struggle occasionally but that is life. I have started a cookie business and it is really something that has just taken off in our little town of Gilbert, AZ!! Baking cookies was one of the first normal things I felt like doing after the transplant and so far I have baked over 2,500 cookies and delivered to at least 300 people. It truly has helped me with my recovery and I am incredibly grateful for it!

My Dads recovery has consisted of countless doctors appointments. The day after he returned from the hospital he was back there for his first post-op check up with the nephrologists. He went three times a week, for a couple weeks then down to two times a week for a month and then to once a week for a month. He has since graduated to his regular nephrology office where he goes once a month for a check up! These appointments all include having blood work prior to the appointments so often everyday he had somewhere to do to keep up on his new kidney. Lots of phone calls were had with nurses, and he has been wearing a medical mask almost everyday to make sure he has not gotten ill during recovery. On top of that he sorts his life saving medications at least once a week and has to make adjustments to that process when necessary as labs comes in and levels change. He also has dealt with the emotional recovery of a transplant and has felt the weight of the world as he has worried about again trying to provide for us his family. After the first transplant (from Leslie) he felt that he went back to work too soon post surgery. This time he is hoping to take his time and get back to work when he is feeling ready to, recovery is important because it sets the stage for the years to come.

Other than our hard physical and emotional recoveries we have felt so much love and support from those around us! Truly many of you don’t probably know what angels you have been in our lives. This Merrill Miracle fund has been a HUGE blessing to our family at this time while we have had literally no income. It has allowed us to stay in our home, get the medical help we have needed during recovery and also help several members of our family who are also dealing with medical problems currently, because when it rains it pours and I know that first hand. We are working on a video that highlights a little more of what the life of a kidney transplant recipient is like and our story, for now these are photos from the hospital that you may or may not have seen!!

https://youtu.be/fZZ7jCWxKlA

Thank you, forever! Our family prays for you all often!

Kessa
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Kessa here! When we started this Go Fund Me the primary focus was funding for the kidney transplant to take place between my Dad and I. We have been so blessed by so many of you who have donated! It has allowed us to have a little peace of mind as we have gone through this lengthy process.

My Dad is doing great! He is working on getting his energy back but they seem to have found a good balance for his medications and he now only has to go to Phoenix every 2 weeks for check ups. He is still immunosuppressed so we keep him away from large crowds of people so that there is no risk for infection! But all in all the transplant was a success!!! My kidney is in his body. Holy weird and amazing to say.

I am personally still in recovery and trying to push forward everyday to gain back my energy and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Post surgical depression and anxiety are a real thing and although I wish I could say I'm not dealing with it, I am. Everyday gets better though and the random messages from friends and family help, and I'm looking forward to the weather cooling down so I can go on walks. This week I should be cleared to finally lift over 10 pounds. You don't realize how much stuff is over 10 pounds until you can't lift it for 6 weeks!

I had no idea that in the next little while the focus of this Go Fund Me would shift a little differently to other members of our Merrill family, but it has!

Ridge returned home from an LDS mission almost 9 months ago for a medical release due to chronic headaches. Up until a month ago we had not received a diagnosis of any sort that could potentially be the cause of his migraines. He has been diagnosed with a pituitary microadenoma! Basically something the size of a pea is pushing on his pituitary gland (which literally controls everything) causing pressure in his head. Potentially an answer to what has been causing his pain for the last year!!! It's exciting and nerve wracking all at once. He meets with the neurosurgeon this next week to discuss a treatment plan. We are not sure yet of the route that will be taken wether that be surgically, or through radiation or whatever other techniques are out there.

We have been so grateful for those that have donated to our family!! Honestly the road is still long, there are still tons of bills to be paid. We know that there are many places to donate to right now but if you can we would so deeply appreciate it. If you can't help financially please SHARE our link so we can get the word out there!! All the love!!

❤️ Kessa
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Merrill Miracle Kidney Update July 31, 2017

A huge shout out to all that have donated and shared our GoFundMe campaign in so many ways. Every bit helps our family right now. THANK YOU!!!

Plenty has happened over the last 4 weeks. As many of you know we have been approved and scheduled for transplant on August 9th at Banner University Hospital. We are very excited and nervous at the same time. So impressed with the strength and perseverance that Kessa has shown through all of this process. She is amazing and is truly a Super Hero.

So the countdown begins! Only 10 days and 4 more dialysis sessions! Dialysis has been going great due to the visitors I have on a regular basis. Tina has been amazing to help me get through each session. The recovery time has been somewhat painful but I try to ease the pain by soaking up some sun on our front porch like a lizard. It helps!!

I am thankful for the lifesaving technology that dialysis provides. I am also so thankful to be receiving a kidney next week. Many of the people I have met at the clinic are not able to receive a transplant due to their age and health complications. It is sad to hear their stories and to feel of their sadness. I wish them best and Tina is so good at talking with them and making them happy while going through such trials. I know our trials are for own good and will help us all be stronger.

I pray for all of you and your families that you are being blessed with your needs and in overcoming any trials you may be facing. Be strong!

Thanks again for your donations, whether they are financial, thoughts, prayers or acts of kindness! We greatly appreciate it and hope you will continue to share our campaign as we approach the most important part of this journey!! We love you all!
THANKS!!
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$32,656 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 163 people in 30 months
Created February 24, 2017
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