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Let's support Ron's family in its efforts to pay for the necessary treatment and related costs to return this beloved man to his loved ones.

Help Ron to Get a Lifesaving Liver & Now Needed Kidney! 
Ron Huggins has played many roles in his life: son, father, brother, uncle to his family; welder, musician, and Twain-like storyteller to all who are lucky enough to hear him.  Throughout his life, Ron has encountered obstacles that would have defeated any ordinary person but Ron has always found a way to land on his feet with a joke on his tongue.  Along the way he's developed an infectious sense of humor and an amazing talent at pedal steel guitar.
But now Ron is facing an obstacle - end stage liver failure - that requires extraordinary resources, beyond what our family can provide.  When you hear "end stage liver failure," it's easy to imagine a lifetime of alcohol or substance abuse.  But in Ron's case, that's not the cause.  When Ron was only 17, he contracted hepatitis C. Since he's never been a drug user or alcoholic, we still don't really know how he got it. Throughout his life he's received medical care but no one ever told him that his repeated bouts with water retention could have been caused by that teen-age case of hepatitis C. In addition, doctors wrongly prescribed Ron a medicine for diabetes that should never be given to a persons with hepatitis C.   Only on New Year's Eve 2013, when Ron suffered an esophageal bleed out did he get diagnosed with end stage liver failure.  Since then Ron has been struggling to stay alive, waiting for a liver transplant without which he'll die.  Needless to say, it's been a heart-wrenching, nerve-fraying wait!
Throughout Ron's life he's been strong and athletic (a high-school basketball star). But now his family watches as every week he becomes thinner and weaker.  Every week his abdomen grows distended beyond the size of a 9-month pregnant woman.  So every week he has to go through paracentesis to drain the fluids.  After a recent draining that removed 14 liters of fluid, Ron's neighbor found him unconscious on the bathroom floor.  The emergency room staff said the paracentesis had left an imbalance in his proteins and electrolytes.  If they had found Ron only ½ hour later, it would have been too late.  Doctors diagnosed him with hepatic encephalopathy, a condition that can cause tremors, brain swelling, memory loss, and even sudden death.
Now Ron faces the cruel dilemma that even though he lives as healthy as a person in his condition can, the demand for livers in California is so far beyond supply that it is unlikely Ron will get a liver in California while he's still strong enough to survive the operation.  Ron's sister has investigated the possibility of Ron going to another state for the transplant (e.g. to the Mayo Clinic or Cleveland Clinic).  And since livers can regenerate, a living donor could donate part of his or her liver, so that Ron would not have to wait for a deceased person's liver.  Several members of Ron's family have offered to donate part of their livers but so far, they're not a good match: they're not the right age, size, or present other risk factors.
So now Ron and his family need help.  Funds are needed to help with:
.       At home nursing: Ron's wife must work and his daughters live and work too far away to help.
.       Transportation an Lodging of Ron and a family member to an out-of-state transplant center in New Orleans, Oschner Hospital #1 Transplant Center.
.      Ron and a family member must live near the transplant center both immediately before the transplant (so Ron can reach the center within 4 hours of organ availability) and for six weeks to four months after.
It isn't often that you get to make a decision that can make a life or death difference.  When you help Ron to get a new liver, you get to make that difference!

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