Liver Transplant Fundraiser

For: Melinda Carmichael
Organizer: Melinda Carmichael
$290
of $15,000 goal.
Raised by 6 donors
1% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

I am 58 years old, worked since the age of 14, but have run through the little savings I had to pay for doctors, tests, medicines, etc. I had no idea of this disease and the havoc it wreaks on your body. I was extremely fatigued and finally after two years of complaints to my doctor a blood test was ordered, but it is too late. I can't be treated for the Hep C until I receive a new liver. A new liver is $200K+, not to mention medicine, hospital stay, anti rejection drugs and this is if I even manage to receive a matching donor in time. The test they go by is called a MELD score, in February I was at 15, going back to hepatologist in late June and they expect me to  be up to around 20 since I already am decompensated (my liver no longer regenerates, it's dead), cirrhosis Stage 4/Grade 4 the end of the line so to speak. If I'm lucky enough to receive a new liver I will then have to go through the Hep C treatment regiment, another $50K minimum. I am starting slow in requesting funds. I have no one to help me with these expenses and depend on the help of people I knew at work and my 20-something kids who basically make minimum wage - even with the college degree. So, in desperation I am starting this fundraiser hoping some of you will find it in your hearts to help with my expenses.

I make payments on a small home, but it's mine right now and would like to stay here no matter what the outcome. I may not be able to find a donor and my chances of survival after two years with decompensation is not good, 50-50 if I can keep paying for my medicine, Xifiaxin and Lactulose.

I have always worked hard, usually two jobs, now I can barely get out of bed and do anything. I can't drive, can't even follow simple directions very well, short attention span. I have hepatic encephalopathy - brain confusion, a dream like state where I fall, sometimes I don't know where I am or what I'm doing. Very frustrating. Other times, I'm OK, but the fatigue is always present. 

This is a very difficult disease. To think I've lived for nearly 38 years with it festering inside me is unbelievable, but it finally caught up to me with a vengeance when I went into a coma while driving and wrecked my car. 

As stated, I don't have family other than my children, depending on the goodness of people to help me with this. I need my medicine and the ability to have my daughter (my caretaker) to take me to appointments, administer my medicine and write this text. The only good thing to come out of this so far is I've lost a lot of weight! 

I will send you info if required, I am not trying to get anything over on anyone. I truly need help. This is the lowest I've ever been in my life, always able to do something to make money, but now this is just not possible. We are going through the Social Security disability process right now, the wheels of the government move slowly. I won't even be able to get medicare for another year even after approval. 

I am hoping you read this and decide to help me in my quest to stay on the transplant list at KU Med, help me with my medical expenses. It's a lot to ask, but I do want to live. I have many years of useful life left and I do not want to die at this age. 

Please help today and donate to my fundraiser. I will keep you updated on all my medical visits and conditions. Here's a link to some information on my disease, http://www.eperc.mcw.edu/EPERC/FastFactsIndex/ff_188.htm
http://www.xifaxan550.com/about-hepatic-encephalopathy/symptoms-stages

Thanks for your help in advance.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on August 3, 2013

Posted on August 3, 2013

It has been overcast here and I've been reclusive as sickness has hit another family member. Just hanging on, day to day as I wait to see what next surprise is thrown my way.

Posted on July 28, 2013

Posted on July 28, 2013

Even though my MELD is down I still can't work, will probably never work again says the hepatologist. I've cut to the bone on every bill I can touch, but it's that time of the month when it's should I buy my prescriptions or pay the bills. I appreciate everyone's support and hope you pass this fundraiser on. I am not only depressed, fatigued, sick and in pain most of the time I can't work to raise my station in life any longer. Please donate to my fundraiser, it only goes for the essentials and I truly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

Posted on July 23, 2013

Posted on July 23, 2013

So, my visit to KU Med was great! My MELD is down, it's good to starve, ha ha. No, I don't eat much, just Ensure and fruits mainly, told I need to get protein, but the thought of that gags me. They suggested protein powders without the creatine of course. I like crushed ice drinks so I'd like to try some of the protein drinks. I have lost a lot of muscle mass and that's not so good, so I need 80-90 mg of protein a day. Only been getting around 10/day, so I need to figure out how to afford the protein drinks. Anyway, I am controlling my disease right now, as long as I don't get liver cancer (big possibility with cirrhosis) they are waiting for the new interferon free drug to come out early next year and use that on my Hep C. The current drug regimen would set me back and may cause an emergency condition regarding my need for a transplant. Right now, I am happy that I am exerting some control over my disease, lo/no salt has been my mantra and that has been my saving grace:) It's just the continuous fatigue and pain that sets me back, but I rest (a lot!) and try to walk a few days each week to keep up my muscle strength otherwise. Thanks to all who are supporting me, I am going to whip this disease and get back to work at some point. I just know it. I don't want to be on disability, but there is nothing I can right now other than follow the diet, exercise and medication regimen.

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