My 29 year old brother Joseph has been a Type 1 insulin dependent diabetic since he was 15 years old. He has spent many years struggling with this disease. Over the past year, the disease has taken a turn for the worse. After years of specialists, insulin pumps, and insulin therapy, his Endrocinologist has exhausted all treatments and therapy and has determined that my brother is suffering from Hypoglycemic unawareness, the inability for his body to respond to low blood sugar which results in dangerous life threatening low blood sugar resulting in a deficient pancreas.
This diagnosis in conjunction with years of non-compliance to insulin therapy & treatments leaves only one viable option for survival, a Pancreatic organ Transplant.
In order to be approved for the transplant surgery, weekly visits to Houston are mandatory for testing, education classes, and meetings with Transplant teams at the Hospital. 3 Caregivers are required for pre & post-transplant needs for my brother. I am one. Once approved for the transplant, relocation to Houston is mandatory for him & his caregivers for a minimum of 4-6 weeks but could be longer depending on my brother’s recovery time & new organ cooperation.
What fundraising would assist with:
- Travel to Houston for appointments and evaluations (Gas, Food, Lodging, Hospital Parking, Pre-Surgery Medication & treatments, Specialist costs not covered by insurance)
- Surgery itself is around 130k. Insurance will pay majority of surgery costs minus the following:
- $5,000 maximum out of pocket expenses
- $1,200 insurance deductible
- Post-Surgery Medications up to $500 per month
- Other Misc Medical Bills for treatment and Surgery including regular follow-up appointments with the surgical center in Houston
- 4-6 Weeks relocation costs to Houston post Transplant. (Lodging, Food, Gas, Medications, Specialist costs not covered by insurance)
- Bills at Home post-transplant during recovery. (Utilities, Food, Mortgage, Car Bills etc.)
What is my Brother’s life like now?
- Has been diagnosed with a Severe case of Type 1 Diabetes that includes:
- Pancreas is at a 0.2 percentage of functionality
- Hypoglycemic unawareness - inability for the body to respond to low blood sugar which results in dangerous life threatening low blood sugar
- Severe Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)
- Has frequent Diabetic Seizures
- His License has been revoked due to multiple car wrecks involving diabetic seizures
- Has Diabetic Neuropathies (Nerve Damage in the legs and feet)
- Is Unable to work
- Has Lost 2 jobs from diabetic low blood sugars and collapsing while working as this is a liability for employers
- My brother is an amazing photographer which he has a great passion for that he is unable to do any more due to his physical condition
- Has a Wife and 2 young children (7 year old son & 1 year old daughter)
- Sister in law is currently the sole provider of income for the household with minimal contributions from immediate family members who help when they can
- My mother currently lives at their house during the week to help take care of my niece and my brother since his seizures are so frequent
- Family/Neighbors have placed over 50 emergency 911 calls for help since 5/1/2012
- Cannot walk around the block with kids without passing out/collapsing due to low blood sugars
- Diabetic Endocrinologist has exhausted all treatment options and a pancreatic transplant is the last hope
What will my Brother’s life be like after a pancreas transplant
- Pancreatic Transplant has the potential to 100% cure my diabetes
- Blood sugars will stabilize
- No more fear of seizures, passing out, collapsing or injury from diabetic episodes
- No longer needing to take insulin injections
- Being able to return to work
- Extending my life expectancy & Quality of Life
- The elimination of the constant fear of death
And most importantly!!
Being able to play with my kids