Christy’s Journey for Her New Kidney

  • US$3,101.00
    raised of $30,000.00 goal goal
10% Funded
22 Donors
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UPDATE III:

04/13/2023

On 04/05/2023 my mother got a deceased donor kidney!!! She is doing well and now at home. We cannot thank everyone enough for the support so far, however, this journey is definitely not over yet. We are still in need of help with the cost of medical supplies, gas for our biweekly trips to the hospital (a two-hour drive away), bills, and other important expenses as both of us will be out of work for at least another month or so. Thank you all and I will continue to update as needed!!

UPDATE II:

02/13/2023

WERE OFFICIALLY ACTIVE!! This means at literally any moment she could get a call that there is a kidney waiting for her!!

PLEASE, even if you cannot donate, PLEASE share! Thank you to everyone who has donated and who has supported us from the start and continues to do so!!

UPDATE:

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I want to take a moment to thank everyone so very much for their donations and support. We are forever thankful and grateful for it.

My mother has had her last appointment with a hematologist and they are currently running a specific coagulation panel to check her blood clotting systems. Otherwise, she has been doing great; last week she had another angioplasty to open up her fistula some more and check for stenosis.

I will update everyone as more comes out, but we are hoping by the end of the year she will be placed on the UNOS list and soon after, have a kidney!!

Please continue to share and spread the word about our journey and thank you all again for your donations and support

___________________________________________________________

Hello everyone, my name is Hannah Collette and I am starting a fundraiser for my mother, Christy Collette. She is in need of a kidney transplant and has been on dialysis since October 13, 2008. You may be wondering why we have waited so long to go through with transplantation. Well, it’s not an easy answer but I will do my best to summarize it for you.

(Left: Christy, mother; Right: Hannah, daughter)

My mother has had issues with her kidneys for a long time; she started having hematuria and proteinuria (blood and protein in urine) at 12 years old. Her father and all of the males on her father’s side had issues with their kidneys as well. This led to my mother having a kidney biopsy and an inconclusive diagnosis of Alport’s Syndrome in her early twenties, a condition that her father had. Her father got a kidney transplant in 1985 and lived with the kidney for 20+ years.

Her kidneys were stable until she was pregnant with me at 29 and went into preeclampsia, causing kidney failure and having to deliver me at 28 weeks. Her kidneys continued to fail until she ultimately ended up on dialysis in 2008 at the age of 37. Ironically, she had been a dialysis technician for 20 years prior to going on dialysis.

Unfortunately, her husband, my father, Jim Collette, died in a fatal motorcycle accident on October 28th, 2007. After my father died, our life turned upside down, we were forced to move into a brand-new house within a month of his death, say goodbye to the wonderful life he had given us, and start new with no idea what was coming next. When my mother thought the worst was over, nearly a year later, she ends up on peritoneal dialysis (PD). This means she had a tube from her abdominal cavity that would drain built-up wastes and toxins from her body that her kidneys could no longer do.

As you can imagine, being a newly widowed, single mother of an 8-year-old, with only one (now unstable) income, grief, new physical limitations, and a daughter with extreme separation and generalized anxiety disorder, this left my mother overwhelmed and unhopeful. Being on peritoneal dialysis was the better choice at first rather than hemodialysis, as she could do her treatments at home while she slept, however the cons that came along with it outweighed that benefit. She was up every morning with dry heaves, had very little energy, went through two major infections, and ended up with gentamicin toxicity and lifelong and life-altering vertigo. At one point she was so sick she could no longer drive, make homecooked meals, or barely get up off of the couch.

We had some support from her mother and a lot from a close friend (who taught me how to drive once I turned 15). And my mother tried. In 2013, she started the transplantation process at LifeLink in Tampa, Florida. Nearly complete, LifeLink denied her stating that they wanted her to be closer to a doctor she was going to in Gainesville, Florida (for reference, it is over a two-hour drive from Tampa to Gainesville). This led to the loss of even more hope. Eventually, my mother made the decision to go on hemodialysis (HD).

After getting on hemodialysis in 2014, she turned around quickly and was able to go to physical therapy for her vertigo, learn to drive again, start working again at a laundromat that she is still working in, and I finally decided to receive help for my separation anxiety. I had tried five different therapists beforehand, but none were of any help as we do live in a small town with not many pediatric experienced therapists. At this time, she tried the transplantation process at Shands (now University Health Shands) in Gainesville, Florida. At that time, we went through the first part of the process, and they stated we did not meet financial stability in order to receive a transplant. (I go into more detail about our financial responsibilities below).

Five years passed. In 2015 I went to public school for the first time in 4 years, in 2016, she was having trouble with her hemodialysis catheters and went through a few fistula placements due to clotting, so in 2016 I went back to online school. Finally, in 2017, I graduated high school and by 2019, I was nearly finished with nursing school. At this time, we started the transplantation process at Largo Medical Center in Largo, Florida because one of her friends had gotten a kidney transplant there and was doing very well. We were getting ready to start a fundraiser when, in April 2019, she had to undergo an emergency appendectomy for acute appendicitis. This surgery was not easy due to the scar tissue in her abdomen from previous peritoneal catheters placed when she was on PD. She ended up spending about a week in the hospital and missed an appointment at Largo that was a part of the transplantation process. This led us to have to start back at the very beginning of the process. We ended up going back to Shands about a year later when I had a steady job as a Registered Nurse along with her laundromat job. We played phone tag with them for at least a year; her case kept getting shifted around and she never had a case manager.

This leads us to now. October 2022. We are nearly done with the transplantation process at Shands; my mother has one more doctor’s appointment with a hematologist before they review her for approval to be put on the transplant list. The surgeon, general physician, and social worker all seem very positive about her being approved, which is wonderful. It is also important to mention that because she has been on dialysis for 14 years, when she gets approved she will jump right to the top of the list; this means we could get a call very soon after her approval that they have a kidney for her, meaning we need to start fundraising now. My mother is a relatively healthy 50-year-old aside from her kidney disease; she has no diabetes, heart disease, liver problems, or any other medically important issues to speak of.



For the part I’m sure everyone is waiting for: why are we fundraising exactly? A lot goes into the post-op process of a kidney transplant. My mother will be out of work for at least six weeks, and I plan to be out of work for a week after her transplant, then two days out of the week for a month or two. I will be driving her an hour and a half away from our home in Floral City, FL to Gainesville twice a week for a month for the first month, then once a week for a month (barring any complications), then once every two weeks for a month, and so on. There is no paid family leave in Florida and, besides our jobs, we have no other source of income. This means, combined, we will be losing around three months of work.

Not only is a steady flow of income important, but we also have three dogs, a cat, and a snake to support! Our furry babies all require daily medication and special food, while my scaly friend gets fed every two weeks.

The money that we raise with this fundraiser will go towards gas, food, possible lodging, bills, both my mother's and I’s medication, our pets, medical supplies if needed, any complications that may arise, or unpaid medical costs. We will require money that will not be coming in as I will be making half of what I normally make while my mother receives nothing for at least six weeks.

I know this was a long read, but I wanted you to get to know us and our story before you made your decision to donate. We will be forever grateful for any donation we receive and know it will be put to bettering her life after the transplant!

I will post updates as they come, like when she gets approved, when we get a call, etc.

Organizer

  • Hannah Collette

Donors

  • Katie Spires
  • Donated on Sep 03, 2023
  • ❤️ praying for you!

$100.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Aug 15, 2023
$100.00
  • Beverly Davis
  • Donated on Apr 18, 2023
  • Wishing you a healthy and speedy recovery to have many years of love and happiness with your very special daughter!

$100.00

No updates for this campaign just yet

Donors & Comments

22 donors
  • Katie Spires
  • Donated on Sep 03, 2023
  • ❤️ praying for you!

$100.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Aug 15, 2023
$100.00
  • Beverly Davis
  • Donated on Apr 18, 2023
  • Wishing you a healthy and speedy recovery to have many years of love and happiness with your very special daughter!

$100.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Apr 14, 2023
$100.00
  • Paige Fischer
  • Donated on Apr 14, 2023
  • Wishing you all the best!

$30.00
  • Janet Hunter Gallup
  • Donated on Apr 13, 2023
  • I hope you get better soon.

$50.00
  • Peg Spencer
  • Donated on Apr 13, 2023
  • Prayers for all your needs 💜

$50.00
  • Kim Eames
  • Donated on Apr 06, 2023
$50.00
  • Angie L.
  • Donated on Apr 06, 2023
  • Sending you positive thoughts and prayers for you both

$200.00
  • Amy Malek
  • Donated on Apr 06, 2023
  • SO HAPPY! I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU!

$100.00
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US$3,101.00
raised of $30,000.00 goal
10% Funded
22 Donors

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