For those of you who don't know Us, we are Jessica's Parents (Cathy and Lee). Our daughter recently got married to Jason, her husband. Her story is definitely complicated, just like her health. Since age 9, our daughter has never had a dull moment regarding her health. She got diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes which made life challenging in many ways. She had to do injections 4 times a day, finger sticks to check blood sugar 5-6 times a day, and numerous trips to Doctor appointments. We got through it with a positive attitude and the strength of support from other family and friends.
Now let's fast forward to when Jessica was around the age of 21 and that is when her health started to diminish. Type 1 Diabetes most definitely takes a toll on the human body. Her eyes suffered complications called Diabetic Retinopathy. She had numerous laser surgeries to stop residual bleeding in her eyes and two invasive surgeries to help get eyesight back once she lost it completely. Jessica also suffered complications with nerves causing Diabetic Neuropathy in her legs which can lead to loss of feeling and be very painful. Other complications she endured were kidney disease which caused her to go into ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) and poor circulation.
Her only option to help overcome all these complications and get rid of Type 1 Diabetes was an Isolated Pancreas Transplant. She got on the list in Madison and received her first organ transplant in 2003. This lasted only a couple of years before her body rejected the pancreas and she had to have it removed in 2005 that caused our daughter to go back to being a Type 1 Diabetic. Her kidneys then took a turn for the worst and began to fail. She got relisted at Madison for a Kidney/Pancreas Transplant. She then received a double organ transplant in 2009. We thought we were out of the woods and then four years later her organs started to reject around May of 2013. She ended up having to do Peritoneal Dialysis from home 11 hours a night, every night. Her best friend Jill moved into her home, attended the classes on how to do at-home peritoneal dialysis and helped us with her care. She was an amazing friend and I don't know what we would have done without her, family and friends to support us. At that time Jessica got relisted at Froedtert for her third Transplant, hoping for another kidney and pancreas.
On Labor Day, September 2013, she received the phone call that her third organ transplant was a go. Post-op for her was amazing this time around and the organs were a perfect match. Everything was going great until she encountered another speed bump in the road. October 2014, her blood had a reaction and caused a medical condition called TMA (Thrombotic Microangiopathy) with Atypical HUS (Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome). This caused blood clots in her new kidney and shut it down. She ended up admitted at Froedtert Hospital with an emergency port in her chest. She had to do Hemodyalisis 3 times a week until around April of 2015. Her function came back in her kidney, but not all the way. The kidney was significantly damaged. Pancreas was untouched, thank goodness!
Which leads us to today. Jessica is in ESRD again, leaving her no other choice but to get relisted at Froedtert for her fourth transplant, a kidney! This is where you come in. Jessica needs to find a Live Kidney Donor and fast! She is literally running out of time. If you or someone you know would be interested, please call Jessica's Live Kidney Donor Team at 414-805-0310. Tell the team you would like to be considered as a kidney donor for Jessica Wickersheimer.
Thanks to Chris, Richard, Sam and Rachel Kuckes (my cousins from Iowa) who came forward and donated all proceeds to the first billboard which will be up within the next week.
If organ donation is not for you, there is another way you can help Jessica. Our goal is to raise enough money for another billboard. The sooner we achieve this goal, the faster we can get the word out to find a kidney and save Jessica's life!
All funds raised will go through North Shore Bank. Feel free to donate on our site, otherwise send checks directly to North Shore Bank, 15505 W. National Ave, New Berlin, WI 53151. You can make checks payable to "Share Your Spare".
We thank you for taking the time to read this. Any acknowledgment would be greatly appreciated.
Cathy, Lee and Jason