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This fundraiser ended on 09/09/10

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Hi everyone,


I am just writing to let you guys know that I have outsourced any kind of research that can be done for me at the Florida Hospital Transplant Center and I have done some research on my own and found that there is a real good posibility of getting a transplant and hopefully using one of you as my living donors which will prolong my life. Anyone who is interested in being tested for me would be appreciated.


I accepted an appointment at the Mayo Transplant Center in Rochester, MN on 2/16-2/19 and am going on faith that it will all work out for me. I am currently working on flight. I did some pricing and as a Mayo patient I can get lodging with shuttle service to the Clinic everyday for $50/night which includes airport pickup.


My blood samples have already been sent to the Mayo clinic so the next step if you want to be a living donor would be the following:


Call Mayo Clinic Transplant Hospital at 1-866-249-1648 and state that you want to be a living donor for Teresa Cray and they will take your information over the phone and send you a blood kit to get samples and send back to them. All of this is covered under my medicare and it is sent back to Mayo in a pre-paid Fed-Ex Express. If you are interested in being a living donor, please call very soon so they can get the packet sent out to you so it is back in time for my appmt on 2/16. That will give them a better idea of what direction to go in and what kind of research may be needed for me.

Thanks for anything you guys can do even if it is just calling in to be a donor. I appreciate that.


Written by Teresa Cray

I just wanted to especially thank my family for making this trip possible and also Angel Flight for assisting in my transportation to Rochester, MN. Without all of your assistance, this trip wouldn’t have been possible. I have started researching and looking for another transplant hospital that can help me get my transplant since my antibodies were very high. And, that search led me to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. So, let me tell you all about my trip there and what my future needs will be for my upcoming Kidney Transplant!

Day 1 at Mayo- My day started at 6:30am with blood/urine samples. Then, I met with the Nephrology Dept speaking with an RN. I then met with the Dr. J. M. Gloor for my medical information and transplant consultation. In the afternoon, I had my Electrocardiogram. After this, I went over to the Transplant Center for my insurance/financial visit. Next, I met with the renowned Dr. M. D. Stegall who is the surgeon who started a treatment 12 years ago called Plasmapheresis (sometimes called pre-transplant conditioning) removes antibodies from your body so you can have a kidney transplant and not reject the new kidney. During Plasmapheresis, blood is removed from your body and the blood cells are passed through a plasmapheresis machine. The machine filters out antibodies from your blood, and then the filtered blood is put back in your body. So, although it sounds extreme, this is what is required for me to get a kidney transplant since my antibodies are very high and will reject a kidney transplant in my current state. I am very excited to finally be getting results. Ok, my day is still not over yet.....I had an ultrasound at the Vascular Center. It was here that they found a 7in. diameter blood clot in my leg that they said needed to be removed and they thought this would be better to be removed at the time of transplant if possible. And last, I had a chest X-Ray.

Day 2 at Mayo- Not so early today…….. 8:30am at the Transplant Center, I met with the nurse coordinator who explained my hospital stay for both me and my donor. The donor will be in the hospital a few days and I would be in for about a week. It takes about a week for donor to recover and they can depart at that time and resume working and normal activities. For myself, I would be expected to stay on for 4-5 weeks for daily follow-up at the Mayo Clinic and observation. At an interval of 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year, I would be expected to return to the clinic for follow-up with an annual biopsy of my kidney as a precautionary check up. It was helpful knowledge which will help me plan for this future expense for lodging, food, etc; Next, I had an educational class on my kidney transplant followed by a visit with the dietician going over my dietary needs after transplant. The one thing that stands out from that visit was that I COULD DRINK MORE which was nice to know but I had to stay away from grapefruit juice and pomegranate juice since it causes a reaction with the immune suppressant drugs after transplant. I then met with the Social Worker. I must have passed because she said I was pretty normal and laughed……..not sure what that meant but passed was good! At the end of the day, I had dialysis for 3 hours. It wasn’t a bad experience for dialysis because the nurses really made you comfortable and they had volunteers walk around and visit with the patients.

Day 3 at Mayo- early start…… 7:00 am, I had a Stress Echocardiogram. All I can say….if I was glad it was over. About an hour and half long test. They started an IV and injected medication to speed up my heart which went to 166. I had trouble breathing and they immediately injected I believe metroprol to bring my heart rate back to normal. Feels very weird laying still and having your heart feel like it’s beating out of your chest. This test was important since they will use this to gauge and measure my heart and to see if my heart is healthy enough to withstand surgery. I passed! After, I had my summary Transplant Consultation which consisted of my overall health, and my tests. I was in Dr. Gloor’s words deemed a good candidate for Plasmapheresis Therapy prior to transplant. Also, I did well on all my tests. He said he will be contacting me sometime next month (March) after he reviews the blood samples from my donors to see who will be the best candidate. At the end of the day I toured the Gift of Life Transplant House prepping for my return visit for my transplant. Website:, Email: you have to tour the house prior to staying there. It was started by a 17 year old who came to Rochester to get a kidney transplant and bought this house years later and used it for transplant patients preferably kidney. The charge is $175/weekly and $25/daily. Not bad considering the cost of a hotel! The house was equipped with pretty much everything that you might have in your own home and much more. So, when the time comes and I get the “call”, I will choose the Gift of Life Transplant house for myself, my caregiver and my donor and their caregiver.

Day 4 at Mayo-early start… 6:00 am, I had dialysis for 3 hours. And that ended my visit at the Mayo Clinic. I flew back to Orlando in the evening.

It was a productive visit with good news that has lifted my spirits and gave me hope. I do have upcoming expenses in the near future and would appreciate any donations to help me accomplish this. I plan on posting any fundraisers on my blog and if you choose to donate instead of attending the fundraiser that would be greatly appreciated as well.

My immediate needs will be: 3-4 plane tickets for me, donor and caregivers while in Rochester, MN. 6-7 weeks stay at the Gift of Life Transplant House. Food expense for that time period there in Rochester. Also, anyone interested in volunteering your help with any of the benefit dinners that I will be posting or if you would like to sponsor a benefit dinner on your own which will be greatly appreciated. You may contact me at and let me know of your ideas. This is all new to me so any help would be great!

My future needs will be: Secondary Insurance that pays for my immune suppressant drugs. If I don’t have this insurance, my medication after transplant will cost over $2000/month. Right now, the Kidney Foundation is covering this insurance for me. But, after transplant, they will discontinue this and give me the option to pay for it on my own. The cost for this will be $2500/every 6 months. Because I have a pre-existing condition, I will not be able to go out on my own and get a secondary insurance so continuing this secondary insurance is of utmost importance. If the immune suppressant isn’t taken daily, I will lose my new kidney. So, this need will be paramount for me and I will have on going benefit dinners that I will post periodically to cover this expense.

Again, I appreciate anything any of you can do to help me towards my goal of getting my transplant. Getting a kidney will be a gift of life for me. I am anxious to get back to work and feel “normal” again. Not that my friends ever thought I was normal………….but that is a different story for a different day.


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