Help Gary Tole Beat Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

For: Gary Tole
Organizer: Margaret McKoin
of $50,000 goal.
Raised by 153 donors
60% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Dear Family and Friends,

I wanted to personally thank everyone that has contributed to my Fund Raiser and let you know how things are going now. We are truly grateful to the donor and the family that lost a loved one.  We pray for peace and comfort of the donor family in knowing how many lives have been touched from their gift of life. We heard that the donor was able to help 9 people!  I am, and others as well, alive today due to their generosity!  Please consider giving the gift of life.

My double lung transplant surgery was a great success and the new lungs are working perfectly.  However, I face a long road to recovery due to an open lung biopsy surgery back in September 2012, and declining health two years pre transplant along with the weeks and days leading up to my recent surgery.  I was intubated and put on paralytic medication for eight days prior to surgery and as a result have nerve damage in my left hand, right foot, diaphragm, esophagus and paralyzed vocal cords.  I also had a feeding tube placed in my stomach and was not able to eat or drink anything or speak for the last five months.  I go back to UTSW weekly for various forms of therapy and was just able to begin eating again last week after having my vocal cords injected with a filler to help the cords meet.  The injections are only a temporary measure.  The next suggested procedure would be surgical to install a wedge through my neck and into my voice box if the left cord does not begin to move on its own in the next few months. 

Still, I am very excited about the future and working hard everyday on getting stronger and regaining my strength. I have had a couple of falls since returning home, one of them sent me back to the hospital for a week!  So my family now insists that I use my walker to help while I work on my balance and coordination.  I finally agree!  Time and therapy should be very helpful.  Please know that your generosity has and will continue to help with my ever-mounting medical expenses.  

Words cannot express how grateful I am as is my entire family.  Thank you for your prayers and support.  My journey continues and I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for being with me every step of the way.  God bless you all and please do stay in touch. I love hearing from you! 

Sincerely, Gary Tole 
August 21, 2014 5-Month Transplant Anniversary 

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 15, 2014 by Margaret McKoin
Hey everyone!
Things have taken a turn, and not for the best, but we are staying super positive and confident Gary will pull through this. A few weeks ago Gary was admitted into the hospital for breathing issues and fever. He didn't have any viruses but was kept several days on IV antibiotics and steroids.

Gary was home for about a week when we rushed into the ER due to difficulties of keeping his oxygen levels up.This was on Thursday night 3/6 he was placed into ICU. Each day has become more difficult keeping his oxygen levels up and recovering from dangerous declines in oxygen levels.

Sadly, yesterday 3-13, Gary was placed on a ventilator. Our son, Steven, was the only family member here at the time. We wanted to all be there when it happened and have Gary hold on just a little longer, but he knew it needed to happen and he gave the OK to be intubated. After intubation, Gary was running a fever and low blood pressure due to being on sedation meds. A central line was placed in his neck so he could get the proper blood pressure medication to stabilize it. Things were looking good and leveling out.

Last night 3/13 around 3am, we got a call from the pulmonary doctor that we had a potential lung donor, possibly high risk though. Doctors felt confident that these could be the lungs that would save Gary's life. We gave the OK to proceed to see if they were suitable, however the lungs had pneumonia. This was the fourth offer of lungs in 2 days, unfortunately all sets of lungs had pneumonia.

We feel extremely confident Gary will be getting his perfect donor match very soon. Jesus is on our side and He is not finished with Gary. He has been very stable today and doctors feel comfortable with the levels Gary has been maintaining. Thank you all again so very much for the continued love and support you have shown us. We feel truly blessed and will keep you all updated.

God Bless, 
The Tole Family

Posted on February 24, 2014 by Margaret McKoin

The Auction Event last night was amazing! We felt so blessed to have so many friends come out to show us they care. We were able to raise $6135 to help catch up with medical bills, etc. THANK YOU everyone for your moral, prayerful,and financial support to help our family through this difficult time while Gary waits to get his lung transplant. Each day has it's ups and downs but knowing we have so many people praying and encouraging us gets us through the trials.

We are not out of the woods yet as they say, as Gary has yet to recieve the transplant and will have recovery before we see what God has in store for him post transplant.  The fundraiser is being extended as there are some other ideas others have for some fundraising events to come.


Posted on February 23, 2014 by Margaret McKoin
It's been a crazy week as Gary was admitted to the hospital and came home last night.
He seems more stable after antibiotic and steroid treatments, although his oxygen needs continue to increase. We are trying to adapt to the changes in managing his condition.

I will post more later as off to the fundraising Auction. If you can join us please come on over!
5800 Bishop Rd. Plano TX. Starts at 5pm. We have some amazing donations to auction off such as Dallas Stars Suite tickets, New Womens Wilson Golf Clubs, Michael Kors tote bag, Restaraunt gift certificates and more!

Tole Family

Posted on February 18, 2014 by Margaret McKoin
Please continue to pray for Gary and his lungs to stabilize while he is waiting for his lung transplant.  He has been struggling much more in the past week and is having more difficulty getting around.  He has had to miss 3 pulmonary rehab sessions becasue his oxygen levels were too low.

We want to say THANK YOU to everyone fr their prayers, meals, and gifts to help support and sustain our family through these difficult days.  We are touched by the gifts and encouragement by people we don't even know but see a need and are coming forward to help. We can't even begin to express our gratitude. 

Prayers are being answered so PLEASE keep praying for Gary. He needs new lungs very, very soon.
God Bless you all. Cathy


Posted on February 15, 2014 by Margaret McKoin
VALENTINE'S DAY- a great day to say thank you to all who are praying faithfully for Gary and our family and for all the love and support shown in so many ways. We are so appreciative of the donations to help us through this stressful time of dealing with Gary's illness and keeping up with the financial demands.  We have enjoyed some wonderful meals, groceries and gift cards as well from thoughtful friends, neighbors, and even people we don't know. We are so blessed and humbly say THANK YOU! 

Fox 4 Dallas did a feature story today on our soon to be double transplant family.  Our daughter, Janelle, had cancer twice with the second time requiring a bone marrow transplant in 2001 to save her life and was featured in a story about her transplant at Children's Medical Center Dallas. Her sister Brittany was her donor. Now her Dad is waiting for a lung transplant to save his life from pulminary fibrosis which is robbing him of his ability to utilize oxygen and causing severe scarring in his lungs. 

Thank you to Fox 4's Neeha Curtis for a beautiful job telling the story.  Please check out the link-

Posted on February 13, 2014 by Margaret McKoin
Fox 4 Dallas is airing a story tonight at 6 about Gary's Lung Transplant and our daughters Bone Marrow Transplant story and how all this has affected our family. Please check it out!  Thank you all for your support.

Gary had an appointment yesterday and his need for oxygen has increased so his placement on transplant list is higher as well. We pray it's any day now!

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