Tag Archives: Financial Assistance

What An Exciting Week

21 Nov

Honors Award Continue reading

Where Did the Day Go?

10 Oct

Yesterday started very early. Charlie didn’t feel well so he woke me up around 3:45.  He apparently hadn’t slept all night and his equilibrium was very off. He was stumbling when he tried to walk. He laid back down for a while and then felt a bit better.  He decided to go to school anyway and thankfully as the day went along the problem lessened.  The day felt like it sped right by but when I stopped and looked at the day we didn’t really do anything different.  The only thing I can figure is that we started the day an hour late.  That caused us to miss the one hour break that we usually have between the first two classes.  I suppose that could be what made it feel like it was a little rushed.  It was a good day and ended with us at an open forum with the President of San Antonio College.  Charlie had several questions that he presented to the president, all of which seemed to be answered pretty well.  After that it was off to the church for dinner, prayer meeting and Bible study.  We were both so tired that we fell asleep when we got home.

Today was dialysis day.  Nothing remarkable happened.  Thankfully he did not bleed today. After dialysis it was lunch and then a nap.  Then dinner and we watched X-Factor and then Glee (not very exciting huh?).  Amazing the talent they find on the shows like X-Factor, American Idol, and America’s Got Talent.  It’s also amazing how many people go to those auditions believing they are really good and are upset when they are told they aren’t. I sometimes wonder if some of them aren’t just planted there.  Glee was kind of sad.  It was a memorial episode for Cory Monteith. Everyone said their goodbyes.  There was some good music tonight. It made us stop and think about the fact that you just never know when your time is going to be up.  It’s important to remember that while we are here we should live our lives to the fullest and not worry about the little stuff.  Life can throw a lot of junk at you but you need to know how to handle it and then throw it right back.  Charlie and I have both lived through a lot of crud in our lives, we are both very thankful that we know God and that we can rely on Him for what we need.

Many of you have been with us since the first post on March 27, 2011.  All of you have become like family and know what we have been through in just the 19 months of this blog.  We appreciate all of you and those who are new to the blog – Welcome to our family. Please take the time to read what’s happened since the beginning.  It’s been an interesting life.  Charlie and I love each of you and really appreciate all of the prayers and the encouragement you have given us. Please continue to keep them coming because both of us need them.  Y’all are great!

Today we pray blessings for each of you.  Take care and keep visiting.

Blessings to all,

Charlie & Sherrie

 

Kidney Action Day

7 Oct

Hi Y’all.  Here are a few pictures of Kidney Action Day San Antonio.  Charlie did a fantastic job sharing his story.  I have been trying to figure out how to get the video off of my camera but have not been successful. As soon as I can get it I’ll let y’all know.  Until then here are some pictures.

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Even the Spurs Coyote showed up to learn about Kidney disease!

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Here’s Charlie talking with a fellow kidney patient.

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Lot of information on diet and even free measuring cups and spoons. University of Texas Health Science Center Nursing program students came and helped with Education and also free screenings.

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Many, Many people showed up for the free Health screening.  One could be screened for Diabetes, Cholesterol, Kidney Disease and also get educated on diet and exercise.  It was a great out reach event.

What an incredible day it was.  There was so much information and lots of entertainment. Dancers, Zumba, Hula Hoop contests.  Charlie had a great time and really enjoyed being able to go on stage and tell people his story and let them know how important it is to make sure that you follow up with the doctor once you have been diagnosed and make sure to do what they tell you.  It was a very good day.

Blessings to all.

Charlie & Sherrie

 

Charlie’s Story

5 Oct

Good Afternoon y’all.  What a beautiful day here in San Antonio.  Sun is shining, blue sky, fluffy clouds, birds singing and butterflies are fluttering. God is truly awesome.

Well, let’s see what we did this week. Charlie started the week out well. Dialysis went well all week. School went pretty well.  On Wednesday Charlie did a presentation at school in his Theatre appreciation class (that’s the last entry on the blog). Yesterday he was on the local morning news show. Charlie loves the folks at the station, so much so that he turns them on before he even turns the lights on in the morning. If you would like to see it you can go to KABB.com and in the search box type in Event Helps Combat Kidney Disease. It will bring up a new page and on the left side you will see the same title. Click on it and you can watch the interview.

Charlie is an advocate for the American Kidney Fund.  They are having a Kidney Action Day event here in San Antoinio, at the AT&T center tomorrow (October 6th) from 9am to 3pm .  Charlie has been asked to share his story at Noon. If you have a chance to go to the event look for him. There will be entertainment, Healthy food demos and you can get tested for FREE to see if you have kidney disease or are at risk.  That alone makes it worth going!   Everyone should get tested. Especially if you have a history of diabetes or kidney disease anywhere in you family history.

When Charlie finished his interview we went to school. As we were walking the path to the student center we met a person putting out this weeks issue of the school newspaper.  Lo and behold, there’s Charlie on the front page.  Charlie also advocates for the disabled students at his school.  He has been doing that for a while now.  The article is about the problem of access to some of the places on the campus.  If you would like to read the article you can go to http://www.theranger.org/easier-wheelchair-access-to-mcallister-needed-1.2839236#.UlA4PwfRgcc.email

This has been an exciting week.  Charlie got a call from our daughter Emily and found out that our new little bundle of joy that is due to be here end of March – beginning of April is a BOY!  Little Ava will have a new brother.  How exciting.  That brings the tally to 4 boys and 5 girls.  Yep 9 grandchildren.  Each one of them brings us such joy. They all have such unique personalities.  It’s amazing.  God really has blessed us with the gift of being grandparents.  It’s a wonderful job.  There is nothing like being able to talk to your grandchildren about all of the amazing things God has done in our lives and help them to know how they can use all that God has for them.  We LOVE being Grandparents.

Charlie’s foot seems to be recovering well.  He has been walking on it a bit with the shoe and so far so good.  We just need to keep a good eye on it so that it doesn’t get bad again.  We would still like to see him start the new year without the wheelchair.  We’ll see.  All in God’s time, not ours.

Well, I suppose I have written enough for now.  I am going to take pictures at tomorrow’s event.  Maybe if we are lucky my camera will record part of the event.  I think I remember how to do it, but I haven’t recorded with it in quite a while so we shall see!  Either way I will post something after we get home.

Please pray for the following:  1. A Kidney.  2. The event tomorrow and Charlie’s presentation. 3. Healing of the foot.  4. Finances.  5. Fundraising.

Blessings to all.

Charlie & Sherrie

Presenting Charlie……

3 Oct

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Here’s Charlie, all dressed up for his presentation in Introduction to Theatre class.  What a handsome guy, huh? He did a great job.  He had a great group to work with.  Thanks Michelle, Gina and Lorraine it was great working with y’all.

Yesterday was a good day.  Charlie did really well with his presentation.  He loves his theatre class.  The instructor is great. He has a quality that many of the instructors do not.  He cares about his students and show it.  Charlie was blessed to be able to be in this professor’s class in the Spring semester before he got sick.  He was very pleased when he registered for classes for this semester and this professor’s class was still available.  If any of you are looking to take a speech or theatre class at San Antonio College try to get in Professor Charles Falcon’s class. You will be blessed by the experience.

At the end of class yesterday Charlie got a call from Washington, DC.  It was from someone associated with the American Kidney Fund.  They asked him to do a live interview on the KABB morning show on Friday morning at 7:15.  He has agreed to do it and is looking forward to it.  Charlie turns that morning show on before he even turns the lights on in the morning.  I guess this is Charlie’s week to shine.  On Friday TV and on Sunday he will be speaking at the AT&T Center for the American Kidney Fund Kidney Action Day.  All of this in an effort to get the word out about kidney disease prevention.  He is really looking forward to the Sunday even too.  At both events he will be sharing his story, talking about kidney disease and diabetes and talking about dialysis. He has such a wealth of information and experience, it will be great for him to share.

Well, I suppose I should go.  This morning I am doing the sinus thing and looking at the screen is kind of difficult. I think I will go try and take a nap before it’s time to start getting lunch ready for Charlie.  Today is dialysis day so we’ll see how he does. The last couple of sessions have been pretty good, I think the tech finally has gotten the routine down and so Charlie isn’t bleeding profusely at the end.

Prayer requests for today:  1. A Kidney.  2. Fundraising.  3. Finances.  4. School. 5. Foot.  6. Speaking engagements.

Praying blessings to all.

Charlie & Sherrie

 

 

Things are Looking Brighter

1 Oct

Hi y’all.  Well we went to the wound care doctor today. It was comforting to have Charlie’s regular doctor back.  It’s so hard trying to explain where you have been with a wound to someone brand new.  The doctor took a look at it and said it’s looking good.  He said Charlie could go back to his shoes instead of the air cast.  That made Charlie a very happy man.  Now we just need the other callus to behave.  I think we need to make a trip to the podiatrist and have her take a look at the new shoes and inserts. Perhaps she will have the magic answer for us.  Charlie’s skin on that foot is just so very fragile.

We had good news about my social security claim. We got the letter from the judge today stating that he has approved the disability claim and that I am disabled. They did use the onset date of May 2011.  So now I have to wait for Social Security to contact me.  The letter says that could take up to 60 days. We can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel and it isn’t a train!!!! Praise God.

School in tomorrow. Charlie had to memorize an introduction to a play.  It is a group project. He speaks tomorrow in Introduction to Theatre.  It will be interesting. I am sure he will do just fine.  This is his week to speak.  He will be speaking at the AT&T Center on Sunday for an American Kidney Fund event. It’s a Kidney Action Day.  He will be sharing his story.  That should be a fun day too.

Well, I think that’s it for now. I’ll let you know how the speaking engagements go.  In the meantime pray for him.

Pray for: 1. Kidney.  2. Foot healing.  3. School.  4. Fundraising. 6. Finances. 7. School.

Thanks y’all.  Your prayers and words of encouragement are what gets us through the day.

Blessings to all!

Charlie & Sherrie

The Proposal

28 Sep

Charlie’s latest English assignment was to write a Narrative Essay on an “aha” moment in his life.  He chose to write about his decision to propose to me and how he did it.  It was fun writing it as we relived some moments and talked about it.  Anyone who would like to take a look at it can go to YouTube and type in Charlie’s Proposal to Sherrie.  It was taped because only one of our children and her family were able to be here for the momentous occasion.  It was put on YouTube because both of us have families living out of state and we wanted to share it with them.

Charlie is doing pretty well in school, with the exception of the Listening Quizzes in Music Appreciations.  He does well on the tests as they are multiple choice.  The Listening Quizzes are short quizzes where he has to listen to excerpts of music that the professor plays, then he has to answer a question about it.  Things such as the name of the composer or the name of the piece. For some reason those quizzes have been difficult for him.  He has gotten better at being able to identify instruments in the pieces.

It was an okay week this week.  Charlie was sick on Wednesday but is doing much better now.  He had some kind of a stomach bug and slept the majority of the day.  The rest of the week went well.  Friday was kind of weird because we got our early to go home and take a Music Appreciation test that had to be done online.  All quizzes and tests for that class are done online.  No big problems at dialysis this week which was great.

The American Kidney Fund from Washington, DC called Charlie again on Wednesday and asked him to speak on Sunday, October 6th, at the Kidney Action Day event here in San Antonio.  It will take place at the AT&T Center.  They want him to talk about Kidney disease and share his story. He said yes so that’s on the books for that day.  Not sure what time he is speaking but when we find out I will share that information with y’all.  It’s exciting and he is really looking forward to it.

His foot is doing okay.  Haven’t looked at it today yet.  Hopefully all is still well under the dressing.  We just need that to heal up and stay healed.  It’s so disappointing that it opened again. The air cast is so awkward for Charlie.  Earlier this week he was stepping up on the sidewalk and wound up down on one knee. I told him that he didn’t have to propose again.  🙂 He got up but he seems to have a balance issue when he’s wearing it.  Hopefully he won’t be in it very long.  He sees his wound care doctor on Monday so we can see what the plan is going to be.

We have church in the morning, choir has started back up for Charlie and he is looking forward to singing again. Sunday School is always a pleasure.  We are studying the book of Daniel and then we are going to start on Revelation.  It’s been interesting.  We had our movie night last week and it went pretty well.  Next month we will show “The Book of Esther”, I hope those of you who are here in the area will consider coming.  It’s FREE.  This ministry means a lot to Charlie and he is trying to figure out how we can have better attendance. Anyone have any ideas?

That’s pretty much it for now.  Hope each of you have had a great week and pray that this week is full of blessings for all of you.

Please pray for the following:  1. Charlie’s foot.  2. Charlie’s kidney.  3. School.  4. Finances. 5. Fundraising.

Blessings to all.

Charlie & Sherrie

The FOOT

23 Sep

Okay, we finally had the foot all healed and Charlie had begun to do some walking.  Well, last Tuesday he was experiencing some pain, so I took a look at the foot.  The top of the sock was wet, as if Charlie had stepped in water.  I took his sock off, and took off the bandage, and the callus had developed a bubble underneath it that had filled with fluid and burst.  I began cleaning the wound and stuff started coming out, there was also a blood blister that had developed above the callus that began draining.  Apparently the whole callus had lifted with whatever this was and now we had a new ulcer to deal with.  I cleaned it all up and put on a new dressing.  Next day we called the wound care doctor and they gave us an appointment for last Friday.  By Friday the wound had again filled and now it was a little pink around the outside and warm, yep, a slight infection.  Off we went to the doctor.  He put him on antibiotics and cut off the callus and debrided the wound.   So here we go again.  Fortunately, the wound is not that deep so it should close back up quickly.  Please pray that this is what happens.  Charlie is back in the air boot and he hates it.  He is kind of down because this seems like a step backwards right now.

We did hear from the lady who wants to donate the kidney.  She called last Friday and we gave her the numbers to the Texas Transplant Institute.  She was going to give them a call and let us know if there were any problems.  We didn’t hear from her so I am hoping the testing is now underway to see if there is a tissue match.  It would be wonderful if he got a kidney before the end of the year.  What a great way it would be to start 2014.  We shall see. It’s really difficult not to get your hopes up.  We are trying to be hopeful but not to get to excited yet.  We just keep praying that if this is the kidney the testing can be done quickly and we can move on.

We are attempting to find venues to do fundraising for the kidney now.  We are trying to connect with one of the groups at school to see if they would be willing to help out and do a small fundraiser on campus.  Please pray that if this is the way we are supposed to be going it will all work out. and if it’s not that God will point us in another direction.

Well, we have homework to do so I had better get going.  Praying that each of you has a blessed week.  Y’all are wonderful!

Charlie & Sherrie

 

Confusing Week…

16 Sep

Well, we made it through Monday. Charlie had a Theatre quiz this morning which I think he did pretty well on.  The Music Appreciation listening quiz, not so well.  It’s difficult to change a pattern.  When most people sit down to listen to music they listen to the words.  The thought of listening to the instruments and the style of the music don’t really cross the mind.  The Music Appreciation class is designed to teach students how to listen to music.  Charlie is starting to get it.  He was watching something last night and started naming the instruments in it.  Good sign, guess that means he must be learning something from the class!  Please keep it in prayer though because he has a long way to go with this one.  English class is still writing.  The next thing he has to write is regarding a moment when something became clear to him (an aha moment).  That should be an interesting essay.

The rest of this week is going to be kind of confusing.  Tomorrow will be dialysis and then again on Wednesday. He had to do it that way so that he can be with me for the Social Security Disability hearing on Thursday.  Our daughter is going to come and get us for that.  Charlie and Kim will not be able to join me.  It will be just me, the judge, the lawyer, a physician and a vocational expert.  Apparently the room is not big enough for Charlie and Kim to come along for moral support.  Please pray that this hearing goes well.  We have been waiting for this for a year now (filed in May 2011, rejected twice, hearing filed for in September 2012).  Glad it is finally here and that it will be over soon.  Both of us are praying that I get it because then things will be a little easier and we can finally start paying off the bills we are behind on.  The other thing we are looking forward to is for me to be able to go and see a doctor without having to use the Emergency Room.  I have not had a regular doctor since 2011, it’s been a real pain when I need to see someone or get a prescription refilled.  The social security will allow us a little breathing room and it will definitely make Charlie feel a little better about financial things.  We should know the decision withing no more than 2 months.

Saturday is Movie night.  Those of you who don’t know, Charlie started a movie ministry at Oak Ridge Baptist Church about a year and a half ago. He shows family friendly movies on the third Saturday of every month.  Doors open at 6pm and the movie starts at 7pm.  Admission, popcorn and lemonade are free. We have pizza available for $1.00 per slice. We also have door prize giveaways at the end of the movie.  It’s a great time of fellowship and entertainment.  If you would like more information you can email us at oakridgeafterdark12@gmail.com or call Charlie or myself at (210)859-8085.  The movie night  day is always a busy one.  Charlie does dialysis, then comes home and naps for a bit and then it’s off to the movies!   It is a lot of work but it’s well worth it in the end.

Our weeks are usually pretty booked, and usually they are pretty consistent as far as days and times go, but this week will be a little mixed up.  We are going to have to miss another day of school (Wednesday) so that we can make the change for the hearing.

Oh and then we have the foot.  Charlie has been walking a bit and on Friday night he had said his foot was hurting.  He felt what he thought was blood on his sock and asked me to look at it.  No blood but it was really wet.  I took the sock and the dressing off and low and behold, the foot had a huge spot that had blistered.  The blister was around and under the old callus.  I cleaned the area and then debrided it..  I think we are going to have to make a trip to wound care as the stuff the was coming out was from under the callus.  I am hoping that does not mean that there is a new wound developing at that site.  I redressed the wound and then checked it yesterday, so far it looks okay, but I think we are going to schedule the appointment to make sure.

Never a dull moment here that’s for sure.  We are both looking forward to the Kidney Action Day walk on October 6th. That’s a Sunday.  It will be at the AT&T Center.  Lots going on there.   (This information is from the American Kidney Fund flyer) Kidney Action Day is all about YOU and YOUR health. Join us at the AT&T Center for free kidney health screenings*, healthy cooking demos and healthy food samples, interactive fitness demos, local entertainment, children’s activities, and our Kidney Action Day Walk. Charlie was contacted by the American Kidney Fund regarding using his story, we will let y’all know what happens with that when we know more.

Okay, it’s almost midnight and I still have to do the dishes (I fell asleep after dinner), but I wanted to get this off to y’all so you could be in prayer for this week.  I know I have said it before, and I will say it again,  y’all are wonderful.  Your prayers and words of encouragement are what keep us going on this walk and wait for that kidney.  We believe that God already has it waiting for Charlie, and that in His time he will reveal who has it and where.  We are waiting for that to happen but we know that we need to be preparing for it.  We are trying to brainstorm ideas for fundraising and need some help.  I used to be able to do all of that kind of thing on my own, it just doesn’t seem to be a possibility right now.  I spend my time trying to make sure Charlie’s health is okay (and mine too) and make sure that homework gets taken care of.  Those two things in themselves have become full time work.  Anyone that has any ideas or who would like to put together a fund raiser please contact me so that I can put you in touch with the non-profit that is working with us.  If anyone would like to donate to the account for Charlie’s kidney transplant you can do so by going to helphopelive.org.  When you get to the page there is a box in the upper right corner.  Type in Charlie Shivley and it will take you to Charlie’s page.  There is a button that says donate now, if you click there you can make a secure donation.  All donations are tax deductible.

Now I really am going to sign off.  Y’all have a great night and a bless week.

Charlie & Sherrie

The Kidney…

13 Sep

Well here we are again.  Charlie was sick this morning so we didn’t go to school.  He still has to take the Music Appreciation test at 2:00 and we have to review the power point slides for the Theatre quiz on Monday.  He finished his essay and we emailed that to the professor.  I think we have everything under control, for the moment, anyway.

Charlie had dialysis yesterday and it was okay until the end.  He had some pain in his chest.  Not sure what that was about but he seems okay today, with the exception of his stomach doing flip flops.  He’s napping before we have to do the test, so he doesn’t fall asleep during it.  He didn’t sleep well last night. He had dialysis but felt like he was full of fluid.  He doesn’t look like he is swollen at all so it may just be a little to much fluid last night.  He’s better today. Tomorrow he has dialysis again and he will be fine.  Such is the life of a kidney patient, good one day and maybe bad the next.  It can be rather stressful. Charlie handles it so well.  He is generally a very positive person and that’s what makes him so special.  With all that he has going on, school, movie ministry, health, he just keeps going.  Now don’t get me wrong, he is human and that allows him to have a bad day once in a while, but for the most part he’s positive, even on the bad days.  We will both be very happy when he finally gets his kidney. I can’t believe he has been on the list for 9 years now.  This just has to be the year.  All of the doctors keep saying this will be the year, but they really don’t know that for sure.  We hope and pray that it is and then Charlie can be released from the dialysis routine.  He is very much looking forward to not having to take that ride and sit there for the 3 1/2 hours.  He is looking forward to being able to go places without having to have dialysis scheduled at the destination, getting to go places without having to plan around the dialysis schedule, being able to eat some of the things he really loves without having to worry about it.  It will be strange to him to be able to drink more, he has had to monitor fluid intake for 9 years now.

We now have had calls to do things this year with the Organ Donor  people and the American Kidney Fund Kidney Walk.  This will get the word out so maybe this will help to find the kidney and it really will be the year.  We pray every day that this may be the case, We know that God is in control of this whole thing and that everything happens in His time and that he has the kidney already prepared and waiting for Charlie, we just have to find it.  Sometimes it feels kind of like a scavenger hunt.  We search and search and then nothing, but shortly there comes another lead or another phone call and we begin searching diligently again. Never a dull moment, that’s for sure.

One of the hardest things to deal with is people who are getting kidneys who have not had to wait the length of time Charlie has.  We have met several people lately with family members or friends who are getting transplants, some of them have had hardly any wait.  That is kind of frustrating. We rejoice with them as they are getting a life saving operation, but at the same time we can’t help but wonder why not Charlie?  Guess that’s where the faith in God’s plan really gets tested.

Our big thing now is that we really need to get in fundraising mode.  I need help folks, so if anyone would like to help put together a fundraiser or has any good ideas please contact me.  We have to raise $50,000 minimum.  We are connected with a Non-profit organization called Help Hope Live.  They assist with taking all of the money raised and it will be put in an account at the South Central Kidney Transplant Fund under Charlie’s name.  They hold all of the funds and also disperse them when the time comes.  We submit the bills and they pay them.  By going through Help Hope Live the donations made are tax deductible. The Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital  Kidney people connected us with Help Hope Live after we sat down with the financial counselor.  They are the ones that calculated the figure that we will need to cover the surgery, aftercare (doctor visits and lab work), and immunosuppressant drugs that Charlie will have to take for the rest of his life. .

Some days I look at the figure and just shake my head.  I know that I cannot do this on my own so I need people to volunteer to help me.  There are times when I think about all of this and the stress factor gets a little high.  I so want Charlie to be able to get his kidney and enjoy a more active and fun life, he deserves it.  I also know that the costs are ever present in his mind and that if we could get the fundraising started and going then it wouldn’t be as bad for him.

Please seriously pray about this folks.  We need you.  If you are not here in Texas and want to try and coordinate something please let me know.  I will give you the coordinator’s information at Help Hope Live.  All fundraisers have to go through them so that they are sure they meet the IRS guidelines. .  So, if you have ideas or you feel led to help in someway, please let me know.

Thanks to y’all for reading this blog and for the prayers and positive encouragement.

Blessings to all.

Charlie & Sherrie

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