SPK (simultaneous pancreas kidney)
This is what Michael needs, & I am his wife Debby.
I started this caring bridge site really to talk about Michael and how this is effecting our existence.
Many of you may know about Michael and his story, but for those who do not, I'll try and sum it up in as much of a nutshell as possible.
Wow! NEW ORGANS ARE EXPENSIVE! Yes, we have insurance through my work, and Michael now has Medicare. Thank You Lord!
I would like to thank you for considering assistance with our out of pocket costs. Tax deductible donations can be made through this link. More details about our financial needs can be found on this link as well. https://helphopelive.org/donate/donate2/9844
And you can see his campaign at this link. https://helphopelive.org/campaign/9844
Michael was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age nine, 42 years ago. In many ways he was fortunate as a child with diabetes. Because of his devoted parents, he was able to go on field trips for school, go to camp, and live as 'normally' as possible during those years. As a teen he really hit it big when the local diabetes foundation leader began taking groups of type one diabetics on camping, hiking, & backpacking excursions throughout the Pacific Northwest. In fact by the time I met him at the ripe old age of 23 (Haha), he had backpacked almost every mountain in the Pacific NW! I had never even met a person with diabetes before & had no idea what it was or how it was treated. When he was a child the technology was really quite minimal. I quickly learned to detect low blood sugar and high blood sugar. He even 'let' me give him an insulin shot so I could know how if ever needed. We were young and carefree. Michael became a plumber and eventually had his own business. I was blessed to stay home with our 3 children for 12 years! I took a job for insurance and taxes...I had them take out almost all of my paycheck for these purposes. But God KNEW I was needing that job for a time such as this!
In 2014 Michael was diagnosed with stage 4 renal failure and as it progressed to stage 5 he began dialysis by September 2015. Actually the day of our 25th wedding anniversary!
These years since his diagnosis have been difficult to say the least! He was referred by his nephrologist to begin the process of transplantation, SPK. He has been through a lot. Fistula surgery, to prepare for the dialysis was his first surgery. He did not want to end up with a catheter in his neck. The process of preparing for transplant actually saved his life. He was required to go through a battery of testing. One of which was a stress test. He failed it. Next up an angiogram. If not for that he would be gone today. In fact the Saturday before his first angiogram was to be performed, he had a stroke. Thank God it was not a large one. Although he still feels numb on his right side. Tingly like when you lay on your arm too long and it 'goes to sleep'. His balance is definitely not what it once was. When he did finally get the angiogram, they found he had suffered a 'silent' heart attack. After his 3rd failed stress test, he had a triple bypass end of 2016. He recovered remarkably!
He is now listed at Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Medical Center and Georgetown University MedStar in Washington DC, as well as recently being added to University of Wisconsin Medical Center.
He got one call from Georgetown and after traveling halfway to D.C., we were told the pancreas was not viable. Another call from them that didn't turn out, a call from Minnesota with same results and now a call from Wisconsin that didn't pan out.
He is at the top of the list at Georgetown and Wisconsin. We just pray for the right match to come up. He is in process to get listed at Mayo Phoenix. That would actually be on our side of the country! He needs multiple listed because his antibodies are high (tough to match). We do know one thing for sure....God is in control! We are already praying for the donor family and for just the right match to come through. And soon!
However you have found our page, we thank you for stopping by! We would love to hear from you!