Transplant Type: Kidney
Update December 2019
**REMINDER: It’s not too late to make a tax-deductable year-end contribution to this fund!** Mitch wants all of the donors to his fund to know that he is beyond grateful for your contributions and he wishes you much love this Holiday and in the New Year.
He especially wants to acknowledge his great friend and kidney donor, Royana Black for her life-saving gift. He finds it difficult to articulate the love in his heart for this amazing woman. From the fundraising team, Roy, we, too, are grateful.
We know that many of you wonder how Mitch is doing following the transplant. First, his kidney is doing very well. It’s functioning at near normal levels and there have been no signs of rejection (he will continue to be on immune-suppressing antirejection medicine for the rest of his life). His new kidney will undergo a biopsy in April - the one-year anniversary - to confirm that there are no rejection problems that may not be seen otherwise. Mitch is happy to report that Royana is doing well post surgery.
Unfortunately, two weeks after transplant, the trauma of the surgery likely caused two cardiac “events.” He was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and coronary heart disease for which two stents were placed. He was shocked by this turn of events as he had cardiac clearance testing before the transplant. He is recovering well but is often fatigued and lightheaded. He will be on life long meds for these conditions as well.
More recently, he developed a hernia at his transplant incision site for which surgery is preliminary scheduled for late spring.
As you can imagine, the healthcare costs related to these chronic and acute medical problems are astronomical. For the rest of his life, Mitch will require follow-up care, expensive meds, including those for anti-rejection, cardiac , and HIV care. Already, he has used half of this fund. He cannot imagine how different his life would be without it. If you can, please donate to this fund once again or for the first-time. Mitch really appreciates it.
Update: Mitchell received a transplant on April 1, 2019!
Mitchell Chuich has been battling health issues for more than half his life. Thirty-five years ago, he was diagnosed with HIV before much was even known about the disease. His illness has taken a toll on his health over the years, and in 2005, he was diagnosed with kidney disease, hypertension, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia. A year later, he had his lower right leg amputated due to an infection. Although new HIV meds helped him to recover, the damage was done. He had to have both hips replaced, due to Avascular Necrosis, which is also now in his shoulders. Neuropathy led to damage in his remaining foot. His kidney disease was worsening.
Then, two-years ago, his renal function took a sharp decline. Doctors say he urgently needs a kidney transplant. An out-of-state friend with the same blood type isundergoing evaluation to be his living donor.
In spite of his challenges, Mitchell has never lost hope or zest for life. Although his health issues can seem daunting, he remains hopeful for the future and sees his body as an incredible machine that simply needs a new part. Mitchell is thankful for the love and support of his family and friends during this time. Throughout his life, he has formed longstanding friendships with people he now considers family, and they are helping him through his transplant journey. He lives near his sister and brother-in-law, and looks forward to each visit.
Mitchell looks forward to receiving a transplant that will give him back his energy and allow him to continue living life to the fullest. He enjoys spending time with family, friends, and his two terriers who lift his spirits daily. And once he’s received a transplant, he can’t wait to have his dietary restrictions lifted so he can indulge in the foods he once loved, especially tomatoes and potatoes that are fundamentals in his favorite Italian foods. Right now, Mitchell wants nothing more than to feel better and continue to enjoy life with his loved ones.
The average kidney transplant costsmore than $400,000, and that’sonly the beginning. Even with insurance, which will cover a portion of the transplant costs, Mitchell still faces significant expenses related to the surgery. For the rest of his life, he will need follow-up care and anti-rejection medications. Post-transplant medications are very expensive, and they’re as critical to his survival as the transplant itself. Mitchell’s health also prevents him from working, further adding to his financial burdens.
You can help by making a tax-deductible donation to NFT in honor of Mitchell. If you'd prefer to send your gift by mail, please send it to the NFT Illinois Transplant Fund, 3249 W. Sarazen's Circle, Suite 100, Memphis, TN 38125. Please be sure to write "in honor of Mitchell Chuich” on the memo line.
Thank you for your generosity!
Patient Health Institute: Northwestern Transplant Center