Life is filled with firsts and lasts. The first time I ever held Amanda, the last thing on my mind was that, one day, I would sit down, alone, on an autumn evening and unfold Amanda's sweet story to people I've never met in hopes I could touch their hearts on her behalf. The last thing that would have occurred to me then was that closely housed near her little heart was a tiny liver that would, one day, betray her. Amanda, now 35 years old with three children, is in end-stage liver failure. She has "NASH", or Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis.
Reassured many times she will not survive without a transplant, she continues to travel to Seattle from Spokane once a week for pre-transplant screening. She may stay one night or expect to stay one night and have to to stay 3. Her surgeon said she could live to 70-80 with a new liver. She had given up any hope of helping her children finish growing up but her surgeon gave her some this last trip. Her team wants her to move to Seattle to be close by as the disease progresses. The trips are expensive and exhausting and her best friend who takes her and is by her side through all of this is in jeopardy of losing his job due to absences. The move will separate her from her children but will, hopefully, provide her a future with them.
I "caught" my four children in a group hug as they all said goodbye to the youngest who had to return home that night. They were praying for her safety. They have asked me to go with them to help take care of Amanda as she cannot be alone. Thankfully, I can take my job with me but Chris can't. The funds I am trying to raise will go to help with the trips to Seattle and back, with the move in general and getting into an apartment while Chris looks for work in Seattle. I called the transplant coordinator and asked if they could just take my liver and give it to her to spare her having to go through all of this, she is so sick. But they can't. The last thing I would ever want to do is to reach out to strangers for help. But my children mean more to me than my own life. And the last thing I ever want to happen is for one of them to go first.