Kidney in hand, family now needs cash
Family raising money for kidney transplant after father a donor match for his son
Tabitha Greller of Newberg has been amazed at the response and support from people who dont know her brother.
Some of my friends who have never even met my family, but have been willing to donate to this cause because its so important to me. Ive been overjoyed at the response, Greller said. I didnt even expect (it).
Last May, her brother Jacob Dawson was diagnosed with end stage renal disease, caused by a birth defect in his kidneys.
He just seemed to be this perfectly healthy mid-20s guy, single, and then he wasnt feeling good, she said. He never goes to the (doctor), but then he went to the hospital so we thought he really must be sick.
Living in Prineville, the doctors werent sure what was wrong, so they sent him to Bend.
They realized, You have one kidney. Its a horseshoe kidney, Greller said. A horseshoe kidney occurs when the kidneys fuse together in the womb. He had like 2 percent function so they admitted him right away. The doctor told him later he was days away, everything was running so high he wouldve died right then.
At 29, she said it was really unexpected, but they had to cope quickly.
It was a fast learning curve for him because a lot of people who go into kidney failure, its a gradual thing. They can plan for whats going to be happening, Greller said. Its been a really tough year figuring out whats going on.
Finally, after fighting off a couple of infections, Dawson was able to apply for the transplant list.
When approved for the list people could start doing testing to be live donors instead of just waiting for something to happen, she said. My dad was up first and he passed all the tests.
Luckily, they found a match on the first try and a transplant is scheduled Aug. 18 in Portland.
I think its coming into reality. This surgery is going to happen, she said. Now were just raising money.
The family has to stay in Portland for the surgery and to recover. Greller said she offered her Newberg home, but the commute is too far for the amount of testing that needs to be done, and too far from the hospital. So they have to rent an apartment for 12 weeks.
It all starts adding up, she said. To try and eliminate some financial burden, Greller started a GoFundMe account to pay for related expenses.
Weve figured out this is where they need to be, how much money we need, now the hard part starts, she said. I just dont want my parents to have to go into debt over this.
As of Monday, they had raised $3,875 of the $16,000 goal.
Im just so happy that he ended up getting a live donor, Greller said. Its a better chance of success and that my dads doing it, its so amazing to me.
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/aas4r0. There is also a Wells Fargo account set up under Dawsons name.