Susan Solem

First post: May 25, 2017 Latest post: Sep 15, 2019
Where to begin?

As many of you know I have been sick for a long time but have really not shared the details over Facebook as to why Mark and I have travelled back and forth to Mayo in Rochester.  After much prayer and thought we felt we could not battle this illness alone anymore. For a while I was living in denial, shock, disbelief, and shame; hoping and wishing I could get better and healed without involving many people.  It has now become clear I need your help and prayers to go through this.

Here is a little history of what has happened and where we are now…

A few years ago I had a procedure called gastric bypass (GB) to help combat my weight struggle. It was a wonderful, exciting, and successful procedure. With my newfound strength and energy, I kept pushing myself to get stronger, be faster, and do more and more and harder and harder physical challenges. This increased activity exposed/caused a new injury to my back.  After several months of physical therapy and every steroid shot out there, nerve ablation, and targeted physical therapy, we decided the next logical step was to go to Mayo Clinic, to get a second opinion. Here I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease (arthritis in the back - aka DDD) which ultimately led to back surgery.

The back surgery was partly successful which was expected and it did help with my day to day living. The doctors were clear in explaining, I can expect future back surgeries due to the arthritis in my back.

After having my GB surgery my body absorbed everything I ingested differently. Things like food, medicines, and alcohol put a larger toll on my liver, than say a person who has not has GB surgery.  So for several years my choices in food, prescription medicines, and alcohol all put tremendous strain on my liver, leading to liver failure.

After working with my family doctor and a specialist here in the cities we were eventually transferred again down to Mayo Clinic in Rochester to work with their transplant team. Along with the intake process and going through all of the paperwork, blood work, testing and formal diagnosis  it was disclosed that there is a correlation between  patients who have had gastric bypass surgery and liver failure than those who have never had GB.

The stark reality is that my liver is so damaged that I will die without receiving a liver transplant from a living or deceased donor.

Here are links to two of the many sites that have good information regarding Liver Disease ( and Transplant. (

My transplant team says that my best option at this point is receiving a living donor.  I am not high enough on the MELD ( scoring system to qualify for a deceased donor.

It has taken us almost a whole year to really grab hold of the gravity of my health. It has been hard to share information with family and friends as we weren't quite sure what the process was going to look like or how the process was going be moving forward.

As we adjust our daily lives we ask, if you feel led, for prayer as we know my life is greatly shortened.

Please pray for…

Our boys… That their hearts and minds would be protected, even though Mom has more bad days than good.  Pray that we can make good happy memories together.

For me…  For a living donor match.  That I can stay healthy despite a weakened immune system. Please pray that I have enough energy each day to make some type of impact in my children, husband, and those around me.  Please pray that I do not lose hope, that my relationship with God continues to grow, and that I seek Him daily.

For Mark…..Please pray he continues to stay healthy, and that he can seek strength in the Lord.  Pray God continues to place family and friends in his path that need his help with their real estate needs.  So please, send us any referrals!  Mark will take excellent care of them!

As we walk through this, please keep us in your prayers.  We so much appreciate it and I know on several occasions I have physically felt those prayers, and they have carried me through whatever it was that I was struggling with at the time. 

We will post regularity with new challenges and triumphs as we walk through this.

Trusting in Him!🕇🕆💗

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