As many of you know, I have suffered from Chronic Kidney Disease since 2007. Shortly after my wedding to my beautiful wife, Cathryn, we received the news that part of my kidneys had failed, and once they fail, they cannot be repaired. During the past ten years, while my kidney function has continued to decline, we were fortunate to have two beautiful, happy, and healthy children and I decided to pursue a new career path and obtained my degree in psychology to become a Substance Abuse Counselor. It has been a privilege to help so many people despite my own health struggles.
In the past three years, my health has started to decline. I have become very anemic and close to needing a blood transfusion. Luckily, with the expert care of my nephrologist, Dr. Lowder, I avoided a transfusion and began to get EPO shots to help my red blood cell count. This is the same performance enhancing drug many athletes have taken-so there go my dreams of winning the Tour de France! The treatment works but is not a permanent fix. At one point, my kidney function was low enough that I was placed on a transplant list at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. We feel so blessed to live near some of the best hospitals in the country. Hopkins did a full work-up with their kidney transplant team and our social worker determined that Cathryn is unable to be my donor as she will be my primary caretaker after the transplant while continuing to care for our two young children.
In 2015, during some routine blood work, the “luck o’ the Irish” was once again with me as the doctors discovered very low thyroid levels which led to the discovery of thyroid cancer. Surgery and radioactive iodine treatment followed and were thankfully successful!
Once that chapter closed, I received a phone call from a nurse at Johns Hopkins that I was moving up on the list and it will soon be time for my transplant. Cathryn and I were both shocked, but at the same time grateful that this next health hurdle was being addressed. It is hard to always spend time thinking about these health situations as we try to keep things as normal as possible for our children.
To celebrate beating cancer, our friend Casey Grenier and her mother Leslie Humphries acted as fairy godmothers and helped us plan a Disney vacation. We feel so blessed to have had a fun family trip before we face the long and complicated process of a kidney transplant.
My cousin Lizzie Goggin created this website to keep our friends and family updated for the duration of this journey. The transplant process is long, complicated, and costly and any donation made to my GoFundMe site: https://www.gofundme.com/a-kidney-for-seamus
can make a huge difference in diminishing the weight of the financial burden this will put upon my family and help me focus on my recovery. Please pray all goes smoothly and we once again come out on top of these challenges. https://www.gofundme.com/a-kidney-for-seamus