Hi I am Joseph Rodino Jr and I am 24 years old and I am trying to help my dad because he has always been there for everyone and he is My Hero!!!
Back in 1966 my dad became Very Sick, Very Fast. It was during a trip down to the shore when he began getting ill. He was urinating everywhere, beds, couched outside, he couldn't stop. My Dads' Aunt recommended a Doctor and off he went
I know this part of the story by heart.
It was a rainy Saturday 1:30 in the afternoon, Tom and Jerry was on, My Gramps was sitting with my Dad after he came home from work, he knew it was STRANGE because Gramps NEVER CAME HOME early. The phone rang; his Mom was screaming" NO.........NO ".
That's the beginning, My Dad was thrown into a Hospital 2 weeks before Halloween to find out he had Diabetes, he was never shown how to do it back then. They had to sterilize glass syringes and steel needles.
Halloween was hard because we couldn’t eat the candy and there were no more birthdays, Ever.
As he went through school they wouldn't let him take gym because he had too many insulin reactions, no blood machines back then either.
But Gramps was meticulous and he kept charts, graphs and notes. My Uncle's friend said my dad was my Gramp’s Science project and it was a good thing he was. He was the only one who sat with him and taught him to give shots . All the while enduring endless beatings from bullies and his brother..
But it didn't stop, my dad graduated and got a job, but there was another storm coming and this time my Dad had to be the Doctor.
In 1979 Dad found out my Gramps had colon cancer and back then the news and life span was grim. He devoted the rest of my Gramps life to the only person who devoted it to him. He gave up his job, his girlfriend to try and save him but when it got real bad at the end his sister in law helped out
It was a horrible battle of surgery, deadly chemo, and major pain. In 1984 when Gramps lost his life Dad moved to California remembering the rules my dad taught him, sort of a code like Dexter...
1. Never tell anyone you are a diabetic
2. Be your own doctor
3. Write things down.
4. Never lose your insurance
5. Always be informed
6. Never forget rule no.2
He kept most of the Code except for talking about his Diabetes. In 1988 he got his first blood machine.
That's when he learned he wasn't as stable as he thought and again had the hospital stays and Doctor Visits. That’s where he met my mom.
My Dad met my Mom who was a Biller at the doctors' office they went out for 6 months then were married in Vegas. My Dad's mom even came from New Jersey to be there. A year later I was born.
Again my Dad did everything for us and whatever we needed he worked harder to get it. We stayed in California for 8 years until the gang situation got real bad and my Dad was fearful I would get hurt. My Mom and Dad decided to move to Utah where my Mom's parents lived.
My dad stayed in California until the seasonal work was done and then he was home for 3 months. After a while I notice he did not look well. He went to the Doctor, who said his kidneys were "going downhill" and they said he was an excellent candidate for a pancreas Transplant. This would help with his kidneys and maybe all the other problems like neuropathy and his vision.
So about a year later my Dad was so bad he had to retire. It really killed him! He had a little money saved but not anywhere near what he would need for retirement. So after 8 months we had no money and still waiting for disability to decide if he was "sick enough" to get it. This after 16 doctors said he was.
Around this time my Mom was not around a lot and one day she came and told my dad she wanted a divorce and that he could have everything and full custody of me. And POOF! Like that she was gone.
So here my Dad was again. He dove head on into raising me alone. He never dated, or anything else. He said he had to do one right thing and I was it.
When the Transplant came, my Mom's brother, my uncle, and his family watched me. My Dad had to be In Salt Lake City and I was 400 miles away in southern Utah. He had SO many surgeries. 23 surgeries at last count over the past 12 years but now he is at his worst place ever.
I was living in Salt Lake and had a good job at night plus going to school during the day. One day my Dad drove up to go to The Transplant office and we had lunch and I saw he looked bad. So bad that I knew I had to come back home and help him like he did for everyone else.
I told him I lost my Job; I really had put in my 2 week notice and moved back.
Now he is the ONLY documented Single Pancreas transplant recipitant for 12 years (6 is the longest they last) with FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis).
- Low blood protein due to leakage/spilling in the urine
- High levels of protein in urine ("spilling protein")
- Swelling, typically around the eyes, feet, and hands
- Less frequent urination
- Weight gain from excess water
- Buildup of water in tissues leads to swelling
- Loss of anti-clotting proteins increases risk of blood clots
- Loss of vitamin D binding proteins increases risk of bone diseases
- Loss of Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and complement increases risk of infections
They now have him on this medication called Acthar Gel and he injects it 3 times a week and it is murder on him. He gets terrible headaches, very bad mood swings and all the other things with it mentioned above. During the last 15 years my dad has had over 3000 laser shots in his eyes to keep him from going blind.
I try to do the best I can but we are in bad shape and we have to use our emergency credit card for food which it is now maxed out. My Dad has one for his meds that they auto bill and he said he is almost out. He needs new glasses and he has so many Medical bills.
Now we need a new roof and new insulation under the house and in the attic. My dad is afraid he will die and I will be left with all the bills. He can't get life insurance because none will touch him. So I would like to try to help my dad and after all the bills are paid to use the rest of the money on the house to lower the payment so he can relax and enjoy life a bit.
I am at a loss!! My dad said he would one day like a steak as we live on bagels, spaghetti, romen noodles and water. That is why I am asking for your help.
If my dad knew I was doing this he would tell me not to because there are people who deserve it more than he does and I think he is wrong. In my eyes he DESERVES A REWARD and I hope you will find it in your heart to help me with giving him one.
Thank You for your Support!!