I’m turning 33 this month. Yay! But… that’s the bait. Here is the switch. As there is no sense in being fancy-worded about this, I’ll just blurt it out.
My cousin will die if he doesn’t get a new liver (diagnosis: Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis) so I’m going to give him part of mine.
I’ll explain more in future posts, but for now I’m using the pseudo-socially-acceptable birthday excuse to ask you, my good friends and dear family for a birthday gift. Instead of giving to the birthday girl, will you give with me?
Will you give with me?
Many things had to be exactly right in order for this transplant to get the green light. God has definitely been behind this whole process. Now I have the opportunity to give a piece of myself. I literally get to physically share my health with my cousin. How amazing is that? But things like this cannot be accomplished alone.
Will you give with me? Will you please give some of your time to pray for my cousin and our family and give a bit of $ to help with our costs? The risks and the costs are high but it is so incredibly worth it. So here is the GoFundMe page his immediate family set up.
What is the money for?
It’s not for the transplant or any of my medical costs. I’ll explain more on that in a later post. Now that we have a transplant date penciled in for August 24th, we’ve been able to start planning and we’re beginning to see what this will cost our families. San Francisco is not a cheap place to frequent.
For my cousin’s immediate family:
- They live a few hours away from UCSF and his mom drives him in for appointments. Sometimes they have overnight stays in order to make sure he can be there (gas, parking, hotels).
- His mom needs to stay near the hospital during the surgery and recovery time period. That could be a few weeks of accommodations, food, gas, parking, etc.
- Then there are the post-transplant check-up trips which will be numerous and frequent and continue for a few years at least.
For my immediate family:
- J and my mom are taking time off work to be my care providers. This means one or both will need to attend the surgical consult with me in early August at UCSF (so flights, hotels, etc).
- They will both be sharing a hotel room and baby-duty during the surgery trip for 7 to 14 days, while I recover in the hospital (again, flights, hotel, food, etc).
- One of them will stay with me at my aunt’s home in Modesto for a month post-op. We’ll be going back to UCSF for the 1 week, 2 week and 1 month post-op check-ups (gas and parking).
- I’ll need to fly back at 2 months, 6 months, 1 year and possibly 2 years post-op.
I’m asking a lot.
I’m giving a lot because God has given me so much peace and confidence to do this. However, my decision to do this puts my immediate family in a tough spot. I’m asking a lot of them emotionally and financially.
Asking for money is awkward, but I’m not asking for me. As an organ donor I cannot and will not make money or accept gifts in exchange for being a donor. I don’t want anyone to give to me, but to give with me to help my family.
The goal here is to save my cousin’s life and get our family some help with their related expenses. I know this kind of request is ubiquitous on social media. Still, I am confident because I know people do want to help and I know our family needs it.
A little visual here to break up all the text.
This is a team effort.
A successful living liver transplant will be a huge joint effort on behalf on his medical team, mine, our family and friends, and our broader community. That means you. A lot of people tell me to let them know how they can help. We hear that a lot when someone is very ill or struggling. Well, here is how you can help.
- Pray for my cousin and that this transplant will be a success!
- Pray for his nearest and dearest who are anxious and so eager to see him well again after so many years of failing health.
- Pray for my husband and child, that God will provide for them while I’m not able.
- Pray for my mom and dad, that God will give them peace and strength as they stand by and watch me go through a completely unnecessary (for me) and major abdominal surgery.
- Pray for me because I always need it and welcome it.
- Give with me, if you can. Many small contributions will make the biggest impact. Click here to give.
- Share this with other friends and family. Not everyone is on Facebook or knows what’s happening. E-mail this to them, text them the link, or even just tell them how to find it.
Like I said, I’ll be sharing more in upcoming blog posts. If you have any questions for me or if you are considering becoming a living donor yourself, please feel free to contact me.