Tag Archives: organ donors

What an Exciting Day!

13 Jan

So look what came to Charlie in email.

Dear Mr. Shively,

The American Kidney Fund appreciates your interest in our Fifth Annual Kidney Action Day on Capitol Hill. We would like to invite you to join us March 2014 in Washington, DC.

We hope you will accept our invitation. Please email Nina DiPadova to accept your invitation by January 13, 2014. Once we hear from you, we will begin to discuss travel and lodging information. Please note, we will coordinate your travel for you to arrive into Washington, DC the morning of March 4, 2014 and begin advocacy training that afternoon.

Because of your advocacy efforts, we continue to create awareness and help make a difference for individuals and families with, or at risk of developing kidney disease.

Sincerely,

Nikia Okoye

Director of Government Relations

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK CHARLIE’S ANSWER WAS???   YES!!!!!!!!!!  He is so excited. He’s never been to the capital before.  He keeps saying “we’re going to Washington”  Such excitement!  It’s going to be a fun trip as well as  a learning trip. He is looking forward to getting to know other advocates and hopefully having the opportunity to meet with some of the members of congress and let them know about the things that are a problem for kidney patients and their families. I am very proud of Charlie. He has been given several opportunities to speak with in the last few months and has done very well each time.  What better person to be an advocate than someone who has first hand knowledge of the disease and what it can do to you and to those you love.  Please keep him in prayer as this time draws closer.  We actually also got a phone call from the American Kidney Fund as we were on the way to go get Charlie’s books for the new semester which will start next week.  

We did make it to the school and were able to get the books and all of the supplies he should need (at least everything I could think of) to the tune of $446.  Books are SO EXPENSIVE.  I sure hope we use them ALOT this semester.  One of the books was $167.  I looked for the gold leaf or the engraved pages or something, but nope, it’s just a paperback text book. We are both looking forward to the adventures that this semester will bring.  We know there is going to be a ton of writing in the English Comp class but Charlie  made it through Comp 1 with an A so hopefully he will do well this semester too.  He also has a speech class, that one should be interesting. He does well with public speaking so we aren’t real worried about that one.  The third class he has is Humanities, now that one may be a bit challenging, but I think we are both ready for it.  I am seeing LOTS of note taking this semester and perhaps we will record the lectures too, we’ll see.

As usual we are still waiting and praying for the kidney to come.  God is in control and we are patiently waiting for HIS timing with this. We are ready any time that he is.  Each day we awaken with the question “will today be the day?”  Who knows.  It’s been a long 9 years but Charlie has taken it all in stride. He is more than ready to vacate his dialysis chair and live a more fulfilling life. It would be good to be able to plan a vacation without having to schedule dialysis treatments during it, but if that’ s what’s got to be done then we do it. Look at all of the new people we can meet at a new dialysis unit.  Each of them has a story, a personal walk and each of their stories brings them closer together.

We are trying to put together a cookbook to be used as a fundraiser. We are asking if anyone has any healthy recipes that they would like to contribute please email them to Sherrie at gsservant @gmail.com  she will compile them and we will let people know when the book is put together.

Thanks again for prayers and notes. We love each of you and wish you a prosperous and blessed new year~

Charlie & Sherrie

Charlie the Star

8 Nov

Hi Everyone.  Nope we haven’t disappeared, just been incredibly busy with school, doctors appointments, church, illnesses…..so much going on.

Let’s see if I can fill you in on some of the things that have happened since I last posted. Charlie has been in the school newspaper and on TV  both times advocating for the disabled.  Here is the link to the Newspaper Article, it’s the School Newspaper, The Ranger  http://issuu.com/theranger/docs/combined_pdfs_10-4-13_revised?e=0/5180435

This article was in the paper on October 4th.  He was also on TV earlier this week, here are the links for that: On your desktop: –> http://bit.ly/1hhUtQk
ON your phone: –> http://bit.ly/1b3XApV

Charlie also got an email from the college.  Each year they look at the Spring and Fall semester prior to the current one and see what everyone’s GPA is. Students with a 3.5 or better get to walk the stage and receive a certificate for their achievement. Charlie had a 3.5 so he will be walking the stage on November 20th!  What a surprise that was.

Things have been going okay.  Charlie had trouble at dialysis and bled for 3 hours.  He had to go for an angiogram on Wednesday.  The found a narrowing in one of his arteries, it was fixed with a balloon treatment. He seemed to be doing okay after the surgery and no bleeding at dialysis yesterday.  We were all set to go back to school today (he was out sick on Monday, procedure Wednesday) and Charlie got sick as we were heading to the door. We didn’t go anywhere today.  Hopefully we will have better luck on Monday!

We have scheduled our first fund raiser for Sunday, December 8th at 12:30.  We are having a spaghetti dinner.  Spaghetti with or without meatballs (for those who don’t do meat), Salad, Dessert, and choice of coffee, tea or lemonade. $5 per person, $12 per family.  You can purchase your tickets by contacting Sherrie at (210)859-8085.  To purchase your tickets online go to: http://bit.ly/SpaghettidinnerCharlie

Well, that’s pretty much it for now.  Thanks for sticking with us through all of this.  Please continue to pray for the kidney.  If you know anyone who might be interesting in donating one please give them our contact information.

Blessings to each of you.

Charlie & Sherrie

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

 

Excitement here….

17 Sep

Recently we received an email regarding a man in South Carolina who took to the streets to try and find a kidney for his wife.  He actually put on a sandwich board and walked the streets trying to find a kidney.  Eventually they did get one.  Well, at church this Sunday someone told me that she had emailed me the information about this man.  She had seen it on the news but didn’t have a lot of information.  So, I was interested and googled South Carolina man gets kidney for wife.  There it was.  The article.  I read it and then I took the time to comment on the article.  I told them of Charlie and his wait for the last 9 years.  I figure share it and someday someone will see it and maybe he will finally get his kidney.

Tonight I came online to check email before I went to bed and low and behold, there was an email from a woman in Virginia who would like to DONATE HER KIDNEY TO CHARLIE!  I have emailed back to her and gave her our number so that we can connect her with the Texas Transplant Institute Live donor program.  She apparently was in the process of being tested to donate to a family member when her sister was a match and they did the transplant for the family member today.  We are praying that this is the kidney that God has for Charlie.  I cried as I read the email.  Maybe we are finally here??  We will see.

Now we have an even more immediate need for fundraising.  If any of you have any ideas please let me know.  I spoke with our counselor at Help Hope LIve this afternoon and she said if there was anyone interested in doing anything just have them contact her and she would walk them through the fundraiser.

Tomorrow Charlie has to do dialysis again. Please keep him in prayer as this will be tough on him, he had dialysis today too.  Then he will have Thursday and Friday off.  We both are so looking forward to the day when he doesn’t have to do things like this as it’s just so hard on his body.

Blessings to all of you.

Sherrie

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