Monday, August 23, 2010

A Major Hurdle Cleared...and the Bracelet Story

Today Chris called Lonnie and Ginger around 4:30 to tell them that the surgeons have cleared Lonnie for surgery!  He is cleared for our live donor surgery, and will also be placed on the waiting list for a deceased donor.  That is just done for precautionary purposes.  Tomorrow morning Chris hopes to have the final results from our blood work.  Tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. the committee will convene to discuss the bloodwork and any barriers the DQ gene could possibly be causing.  There is a possibility that it will not be a problem at all -- and that is what I am choosing to believe!  If all goes well, we can then set up my donor evaluation, which will hopefully just be a formality.  But today's victory was a big one.  In order to clear Lonnie for surgery two things needed to happen.  First, his cardiologist, Dr. Rezkalla(Marshfield Clinic), needed to send a letter stating that he feels his heart is healthy enough for surgery.  He did that on Friday.  Second, Dr. Mezrich(UW Hospital transplant surgeon) needed to get his colleagues to agree that our case is a manageable case.  He did that today!  What a relief it is to know we have gotten past that point. 

The second thing to happen today was the arrival of the bracelets!  A few weeks ago, my dear friend Jolene and I were discussing what we could do to help Lonnie and Ginger with the expenses that they will incur during their time at UW.  Jolene and I have been friends since Kindergarten, so we have been through a lot together!  She has been such a huge support during this journey.  We came up with the idea of ordering bracelets, similar to the Lance Armstrong Livestrong bracelets, and selling them to people.  Not only would this raise money, but it would also serve as a visual reminder for people to think of Lonnie and hopefully pray for the whole situation.  We scoured the internet to find a place to order the bracelets from.  We finally settled on a place in Texas after they cut us a deal.  We decided to get them in green, which symbolizes organ donation.  Then we thought hard about what to have written on them.  We settled on "Hope For Lonnie", which was simple and said it all!  I placed the order and they told me the bracelets would arrive this Tuesday.  Today Jolene was here visiting from Green Bay for a few hours.  She had been at her mom's birthday party yesterday and came by to see me before heading back home.  I had been tracking our order and saw that the bracelets were in Milwaukee this morning.  Wouldn't you know it -- while Jolene and I sat visiting on my back deck the DHL delivery guy showed up on our front steps with the bags of bracelets!  What great timing!  So, now we have 1000 bracelets to sell -- 700 adult sizes and 300 youth sizes.  We are asking for a donation of $1.00 per bracelet.  ALL money raised will be given to Lonnie and Ginger.  If you would like one, please get in touch with me and I will be sure you get one!

On a final note, you may remember from an earlier post that I mentioned a patient of mine who is expecting a granddaughter soon who will be born with only one kidney.  This patient was in my office telling me about this while I was waiting on the results from Lonnie's cancer tests.  As she was talking to me I could hear my office phone ringing.  That turned out to be the call with the great news of "no cancer"!  Well, she was back in about a month ago and I was filling her in on our cancelled surgery at Froedtert.  At that time she said, "Well, maybe you will find something out from UW on or around the time my granddaughter is due."  At the time I thought that seemed so far away.  However, when Chris called today she said we will have our answer on the bloodwork no later than Wednesday morning.  And yes, you guessed it...the granddaughter is due to arrive on Wednesday!  Isn't God great?  I love His perfect timing.  The bracelets arriving in the three hour span Jolene was here...the baby being due the same day we should have answers....He never fails to amaze me!

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