Help Doug and Sonie Gibson

For: Doug and Sonie Gibson
Organizer: Monica Spencer
of $5,000 goal.
Raised by 68 donors
91% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Doug was twelve years old when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. As he grew older, complications from the disease such as retinopathy, peripheral arterial disease, and renal failure wreaked havoc on his body. Those of us who know and love Doug know that he has never complained about the difficult hand that has been dealt to him. Thirteen years ago, he received the gift of life with a kidney and pancreas transplant. The double organ transplant gave him a new lease on life and he was able to return to doing the things that he loved, which include being a barber and playing the drums. On Thanksgiving morning of 2011, Doug suffered a brain hemorrhage and was rushed to The Ohio State University Medical Center. At that time, it was determined that his transplanted kidney was failing. Doug spent six weeks in Dodd Hall, Ohio State’s premier rehabilitation facility. During his stay, he relearned how to walk and complete everyday tasks. In true Doug fashion, his first request was for his sister to bring in a practice pad and some sticks to see if he could still drum. Luckily, he didn’t lose his touch!

As a result of the stroke, Doug has been unable to work and his health has steadily declined. After the disappointing news that his sister, Monica, who shares the same blood type, was not a match, he was put on the kidney transplant list. Doug was told that the average wait time would be around five years, which was time he didn’t have. Doug’s wife, Sonie, knew that her blood type was rare, but was unsure what type it was. Sonie decided to participate in a paired giving program, which would allow her to donate her kidney to a person in need and in return, Doug would also receive a kidney. After extensive testing and cross matching, Ohio State was thrilled to share the news that Sonie could donate her kidney directly to Doug. Finally, a silver lining! The transplant is scheduled for Friday, August 2nd at The Ohio State University Medical Center.

The purpose of this website is to raise funds to help ease the burden of medical bills and everyday living expenses for Doug and Sonie during their recovery. Per doctor’s orders, Sonie will be unable to return to her job at Macy’s for six weeks and her dance studio for twelve weeks. Doug and Sonie have dedicated their lives to serving the community and consistently go above and beyond to help others. They have dealt with Doug’s medical emergencies privately and have never asked for help. So many of their friends have asked what they can do to help and this website gives us an opportunity to provide support to our friends when they need it the most. We always suspected, and now we have confirmation, that Doug and Sonie are truly a match made in heaven.  

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on September 16, 2013 by Monica Spencer
The Gibson family would like to send a giant THANK YOU to all those who contributed to this website. The outpouring of love and support has been nothing short of amazing and we are all very grateful and appreciative of your generosity. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Posted on August 15, 2013 by Monica Spencer
*Update from Sonie*

Very sad to let everyone know that things have taken a rough turn. Doug is on his way to OSU right now to be re- admitted. It has been very scary since he came home Saturday as his blood pressure has been dangerously low and even though he has been pushing fluids like crazy, he is severely dehydrated. He has not been able to stand and walk without help and has passed out several times (luckily I was able to catch him). His Dr. said his body will just keep struggling and thinks they need to be in control to help. I have been doing way too much trying to take care of Doug and have been in a great deal of pain. Praying I have not developed a hernia. Please keep us in your prayers as we face these set backs and try to get back home together and to truly start healing. Your love and support helps us so much and we are sincerely grateful to you all.

Posted on August 13, 2013 by Monica Spencer
Doug and Sonie are both home, enjoying being back together and sleeping in their own bed.  Doug's blood pressure has been dangerously low but is now inching up.  Sonie is doing way too much, of course.  They are both beginning to get their appetites back and both sides of the family are making sure they are well fed.  They couldn't have done this without all of the prayers and support of their friends and family.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Posted on August 10, 2013 by Monica Spencer
Sonie is doing well at home.  Moving around gingerly and looking forward to Doug getting out of the hospital.  That was supposed to be today, but low blood pressure issues delayed that from happening.  Bummer for Doug, but he knew he was too weak to come home.  Blood pressure was much better today.  He took a couple of walks with Molly.  She was impressed that he moved at a pretty good clip.  We Gibsons are fast walkers!  If all stays the same or gets better Doug will be checking out of Theee Ohio State University Hospital tomorrow.  We are humbled by the concern, prayers and love shown to Doug and Sonie throughout this whole ordeal.  Y'all rock.

Posted on August 5, 2013 by Monica Spencer
Sonie is doing better after an extremely rough night. Fever and nausea is under control and she is feasting on jello and walking laps around the 9th floor. Doug's creatinine is NORMAL and he is feeling great. All of the toxins from a non-functioning kidney are out of his body thanks to Sonie's kidney, now known as Lefty Lucy. Doug is pretending his ice chips are steak. Hopefully the NG tube will be removed tomorrow and he too can feast on gelatin. Long time friend, Jeff Sandow, and his girlfriend Wendy brought a Katzinger's Deli feast.  It's being kept safely (?) in the patient fridge. The nurses were awfully excited about it, so we'll see what's left!  Doug and Sonie enjoy reading all of your comments and well wishes on Facebook.  It's a real morale booster!

Posted on August 3, 2013 by Monica Spencer
Sonie is making great strides.  Swelling has gone down, catheter and IV's are history, and she is taking short walks with Missy's assistance.  On the down side, she's in a bunch of pain but is handling it like a champ. 

Doug is being hit hard with mega-steroids to wipe out his immune system even more than it already was.  He has had a reaction to them which we were told could happen.  He has a fever and is feeling fairly cruddy.  His hemoglobin is very low so they gave him a unit of blood.  He walked with assistance to his new room which is right next door to Sonie's.  They got to see each other face to face for the first time.  We were hoping to pipe in the theme from Chariots of Fire to make it more poignant.  Instead they had to settle for an annoying IV alarm. 

Another day of healing in the books.  Life is good.

Posted on August 2, 2013 by Monica Spencer
Doug and Sonie are out of surgery and things could not have gone any better! Doug's new kidney is functioning beautifully and the doctors are beyond pleased. All of our prayers have been answered and life is good!

Posted on August 1, 2013 by Monica Spencer
Boy is this real now! Doug had his central line put in and the drs have decided to do a dialysis treatment as his creatinine continues to be extremely high. They said it was better to do it now than to do it after the transplant and really tax his new kidney (mine! still can't believe it!) His transplant Dr also explained to us that he will have a a lot more risks this time due to his vascular disease and scarring from the first transplant surgery. I know they have to warn you about everything but I'm very scared. He is at dialysis now and in the meantime I have given 18 vials of blood, had an EKG, talked to my transplant doc and had my left side marked for tomorrow (Doug will receive my left kidney) and I'm all IV'd up and ready. Wow! This still seems like a dream! Getting pretty nervous now but after all Doug's been through, I'm sure not going to be a sissy. I'm so excited for him to get some quality of life back. I will keep the updates coming as long as I'm able then I'm sure our family will fill in. XOXO, Sonie

Posted on July 18, 2013 by Monica Spencer

Doug’s creatinine has skyrocketed. His numbers will have to be lowered so they can successfully perform the transplant. He’ll be in the hospital tomorrow to receive IV fluids that will hopefully make him much less toxic. No wonder he feels so rotten! August 2nd can’t get here soon enough.

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