Raquel and Jeff and The JeffWerx Transplant Fund
For several years now, Raquel and I have been scrimping and saving so that we can afford
a kidney transplant for Raquel (her kidneys were destroyed due to an irresponsible
prescription writer back in 2006). She's an amazing person and spends her whole life
helping others...I truly believe the world needs her around.
I have been diabetic since 1973. This is what caused my eyes to finally fall apart in 2000,
and the accelerated wear and tear this disease brings on has brought my own kidneys to the
point of being almost non-functioning. My control of the diabetes has averted these
complications greatly, but it's catching up with me now...hard.
Raquel dialyzes four times a week, and I'm with her there every night. Dialysis is a grueling
process. It is not a cure, but it buys people time. It would be logistically impractical for us both
to be on dialysis at the same time. Random problems crop up without warning for dialysis
patients regardless of how well you try to "control" the disease. If we were both on dialysis,
and both of us happened to have a "bad day" at the same time we couldn't very well manage
to get each other into wheelchairs and manage all the other issues that just seem to happen.
We have decided it makes the most sense to try and get my transplant done first to keep me
off of dialysis. I will still be able to give Raq the help she needs while I wait for my transplant,
then Raq will help me through the recovery period, and then when I'm strong enough we'll
work to get her transplanted.
The problem is that starving artists living paycheck to paycheck don't have a lot of financial
power to make these things possible. Thusly we're doing a lot of things to raise money for
our Transplant Fund. This page exists to offer an explanation of what's going on, as well as
to provide an easy way to contribute to the Transplant Fund.
I'm doing a lot of projects with "suggested donations" rather than set prices. PayPal is a
quick, safe, and easy way to transfer money, and they don't take percentages for money
that is "gifted" the way they do for regular business transactions. Also, if people really like
my work and want to donate a little more than the suggested donation, that would be
spectacular and very much appreciated by Raquel and myself.
All text and images © J. Freels, 2011
The Transplant Fund
We're fortunate enough to have some very good friends who like having us around and
have made special efforts to help out with the Transplant Fund.
The Big Garage Sale
Thanks to Raquel's College
Colleagues and the Olympia
community for a fabulous garage sale
that contributed to the Transplant
My good Friend, Dr. Sid Orpin went on a hunger strike, well not quite, but he nobly took
it upon himself to take pledges for every pound he could lose to be donated to the
His efforts raised £657 ($1,065)! Thanks to you Sid, The Solihull Dermatology
Department Crew, Friends, and Family who generously pledged their support!
All money earned by JeffWerx (artwork, game and book sales,
t-shirts, etc.) goes directly to the Transplant Fund. The PayPal link
to the right will allow you to make payment for your custom artwork,
or a donation to the JeffWerx Transplant Fund. To learn more
about this fund, continue reading below.
Trollhalla is Ken St. Andre's on-line Tunnels & Trolls
community. Ken has generously agreed to organize
an auction of special signed T&T collectibles to
benefit our Transplant Fund. The auction has earned
$500! Members can look for more details as they
develop at www.Trollhalla.com
The Transplant Process
If you're unfamiliar with the transplant process, here's an explanation of what it involves:
The Work-up involves a whole lotta medical tests to gather data to determine if your body
has a good chance of surviving a transplant. This includes all kinds of things including
basic blood-typing, dental work (to be sure you don't run the risk of developing an infection
later that would compromise the transplanted organ), cardio tests, financial evaluation, and
other things that scan and beep and buzz and poke a person with many, many needles.
When you've jumped through the above hoops, your case is presented to a Transplant
Review Committee. The committee consists of relevant doctors, surgeon, financial
coordinator, social worker, and the coordinator, who will all decide if you're a good
candidate. If they decide that your life is worth saving, you'll be approved and will officially
be on the list!
When you're on The Waiting List, you wait. The average wait for a kidney/pancreas
transplant is a year and a half. You'll try to keep your health up as best you can while you
wait for that phone call to summon you to the hospital for the surgery. It can come at any
time and you have to be ready to go.
Post Surgery you'll spend about a week in the hospital to be sure that your body isn't
rejecting the new organ. This will be a time of lots and lots of daily tests. If all goes well,
you'll be discharged from the hospital.
If you live within easy driving distance of the hospital you'll go home, but if you live farther
away you'll be put up in a hotel to try and get back on your feet (this quickly becomes
expensive and there's no insurance to help with this) while trekking back and forth for a few
weeks of continued tests. If all goes well, you'll be able to come in less and less often for
After the surgery you're going to need to be especially careful about who you see and
where you go because the body's immune systems are kept lowered (you'll be on these
drugs the rest of your life and they are EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE) to help prevent it from
rejecting the new organ. Dust masks may become your newest fashion accessory.