As many of you may or may not know, it is a beautiful woman who was a Laurel when I was the Young Women President who is giving Alvin her kidney. Her generosity and gift of life is tremendous and Alvin and I pray daily that the windows of heaven have opened and blessings and protections poured out upon her and her sweet family. Tara's husband Billy returns from Baghdad at the end of May. She wants, and indeed needs, to be completely healed by then and so it is necessary this surgery take place this month. That is why April 15th was chosen.
Alvin and I have been working out, and are very grateful to Gold's Gym for making things work for us so that Alvin could work out when he was feeling good, no matter what time of the day or night. Because of this we've been getting in a minimum of 4 workouts a week. Sometimes we can go for 45 minutes to an hour, sometimes just 20 or 30 minutes. It truly depends what Alvin has had to do the day before. He's cut out the pop and sweets and is eating very healthy now, within the limits of his kidney dictated diet. He has continued to lose weight and I am so proud of him. But because of time constraints he has not been able to lose everything he needed to. (He's lost 20 pounds in the last four weeks, but now they want another 30 gone before the surgery.)
We are very excited about the upcoming transplant, and it is indeed the prayers offered by many of you which have brought this about. When Alvin and I spoke to our social worker (Mark) and the transplant team we were assured everything was covered by Alvin's insurance and Medicare. We learned we would not have to pay a dime for the transplant. Which is really good, because the $250,000 price put me into sticker shock that took a couple of days to come out of. Since that time, some added expenses have shown, most of which we've been able to take care of--thank heavens.
This is probably the most difficult email I will ever write. When the new kidney is put in Alvin it will be placed right behind the abdominal wall. Any excess weight on the stomach can cause damage to the new kidney, which is why Alvin and I have been working so hard to get that last 50 pounds off him. As many of you know, he was at 425 when we began working out. He is now at 290. I am so incredibly proud of him! He's worked so hard to get himself in the position where he could get the transplant.
He still has 50 pounds to go, he's lost weight from everywhere and all that's left is the trunk of his body, which has also reduced in size, drastically. But not enough. The transplant team is insisting that they perform a tummy tuck to remove the remaining weight before they implant the new kidney. They will be doing both at the same time. Or rather, tummy tuck and then they will immediately put the new kidney in before they close up. This part is not covered by the insurance, although we have tried. They have reduced the cost to $2,500, which, as I understand it, is a screaming deal. Had we had a little more time we could have worked things out so that we would have these funds. But we do not have the time.
As I said, this is the most difficult thing I have ever had to ask. I have set up a Paypal Account specifically for this effort to raise the rest of the funds. Some of you have been very generous already and Alvin and I are eternally in your debt. I know times are tight right now and so if donating anything is beyond your means at this time, please know that we are still grateful for the great love you have for Alvin and the prayers you offer on his behalf. But if you are able to donate $5, $10, $15, $25 or more, we will be grateful for every dollar.
You may donate via www.paypal.com using the email address for these donations (firstname.lastname@example.org.) The funds will be downloaded from the Paypal account and into the bank account set up specifically for this purpose. You will be able to use your checking account, debit card or credit card to make the donation. This was the easiest way I could come up with.
Again, this is a very difficult thing to ask but I do appreciate anything anyone can do to help. Alvin and I pray that all is going well in each of your lives and hope that the time will come soon when life makes a change for the better for all of us.
May God bless each one of you,