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Story of Katie Gundlach Lupus Strong For Life
As many of you know Katie has had some serious health issues the past four years and was being treated at the Mayo Clinic and hospital. She received IVIG infusions there from July of 2017 through April of 2019, but those were discontinued due to a variety of issues and when she was ready to begin again, there was a nation wide shortage of plasma, which is the base of an IVIG infusion. When the infusions first ended, the doctor thought her Lupus was close to remission. She felt good, on and off, until the fall/winter of 2019, when her body started rebelling and Lupus started attacking her worse than ever before.
As many of you may remember, early in 2018, Katie had been told she was going into kidney failure of the right kidney and that it was possible a transplant would happen within the year or so. Well, guess what! The Lupus went gang busters on her right kidney starting last year.
She has been working with the Mayo doctors and has had tons of tests and appointments. In March of 2020 Covid hit and everything was halted at the Mayo. She continued to work with her primary team at Olmstead Medical Center (OMC) in Rochester. In April she was given a referral to the University of Minnesota for a trial treatment that is confidential, and the enrollment process began with the University the beginning of May. The first condition to be in the trial is that she live within a 45 minute commute to the University of Minnesota Hospital’s East Bank location. Once we found that out, we started house hunting - fast! Our struggle is in finding a house or condo for rent, rather than an apartment. Another struggle was the processing of applications. Applicants are only considered one at a time and they start with applicant number one. Well, we always seem to be applicant number 5 or 10 and somewhere between one and our number someone else gets the place. If they got accepted, there was still the issue, due to COVID, of whether a place can be toured in person.
On June 25th Katie had her first video appointment with one of the doctors running the trial and she had another one the next day. But, as of June 17th, she was officially accepted to the trial, as long as she satisfies the “new” condition of living now within 25 minutes from the U Of M Hospital by July 1st. So now the challenge was to find a place within those perimeters.
If she was not moved and living up there in time, they will admit her to the hospital indefinitely which will be hard because of the isolation and compounded by worries about her husband and the move. We were praying hard and asking for prayers and support for her and our family.
Well our God is awesome and provided a home for them within that last hours of the deadline. This meant that we needed to get moving and quickly. Also, the owner of the home gave them permission to move in, within 2 days of the acceptance which got them moved in on June 28th. Right to the edge of the cliff so to say.
With this we had to call on some hard working friends. Rented trucks and a moving POD and get things loaded and moved ASAP. First loads were living essentials and food. It also means trying to break their lease in Rochester. That is still in the works. Right now they are still paying rent at two homes, plus all the moving expenses and travel to and from Rochester to finish loading the POD during the week nights and weekends. They have encored some horrible expenses.
During this moving time she also continued with her appointments at the U of M but through video conferencing. I (her mom) have been there unpacking and getting things settled for them as much as I can.
She has begun the intake process during the month of July which is a huge part of the treatment trial. The first face to face appointment will be on August 6th. This is the appointment that starts the trial and we have no idea what to expect.
Prayers for Katie are much needed and Justin as well. Comfort, peace of mind, trust in the Lord for guidance, and strength for all. She's a fighter but we all need encouragement. Thank you so much for reading this and for your continued love and support for our warrior!
Please keep checking back for updates. Below you will find information on how you can help support Katie and the people supporting her. And, remember, a simple message, comment or phone call can go a long way in someones journey; no one ever wants to feel alone.