Like so many of us, I don’t have many extra pennies right now, but maybe between your extra pennies and mine we can help my friend.
I have known Don for several years now, and while we don’t see each other often, he has always been unfailingly positive, despite a laundry-list of conditions and challenges. Now, Don is faced with a double-whammy: he has lost his wife and caremate, Kim, just as he is trying to raise funds for a new liver.
From his charity’s web site:
Don Waugh has always been the most optimistic person I have ever met. Despite multiple health problems, including being mostly deaf as well as having Autoimmune Hepatitis (specifically Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis), ulcerative colitis, and hyperthyroidism, he has fought his entire life to overcome these obstacles and be a hard worker, a fantastic supportive friend, and an inspiration to everyone he meets.
In 2004, his liver began to fail, and in March of this year it has escalated to stage 4 liver failure and he is only 40 years old. On March 5th he posted videos on Facebook saying his goodbyes to his friends and loved ones. He wished everyone well and told everyone that everything would be ok, despite his impending death. He was fighting, but he was ready for what seemed to be inevitable.
He survived the hospital stay, but went on the donor list for a new liver. He never wanted a handout, and he hated the fact that he needed to be on disability in order to get on the donor list, but he did. With his wife’s help, he began the process of getting a new liver. He looked forward to going back to work and getting on with his life. All of his friends and his employer, Starbucks in Parkside Mall rallied around him. Well wishes and donations were sent, and everyone was pulling for him. His wife, Kim worked tirelessly to take care of him – making sure bills were paid, laundry was done, and their apartment they shared was well kept.
On Saturday, April 17th, his wife Kim suffered a stroke. She passed away on Sunday, April 18th at the age of 38.
No one would have been shocked if it was Don, but no one expected Kim to suddenly pass away. Now Don’s main support is gone. Kim also left behind an 18 year old daughter who is finishing high school at night and online and working. She is looking for a place to live in Brandon, but is staying with Don short term. She is beginning college after completing her high school education. It is now Don who makes sure she is enrolled in school and living in a stable apartment. Although he has more health issues than many face in a lifetime, he is the one who takes care of her and offers support to others when they need it.
Now with the help of the National Transplant Assistance Fund, he is trying to raise money for a new liver. He was never good at asking for help, but he’s getting used to asking for it now.
If there is ever a human interest story of strength and love this is it.
Please visit Don’s charity’s website at http://www.brandnewliver.com/
If you can give, then I thank you. Even if you can’t, please spread the word, and feel free to link to this post.
Thank you for your time. It is very much appreciated.