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Life4Dew ... a plea for help!

About Dew | Dew's Illness | "On The List" |Dew's Current Status | Dew's Support Team | Uncovered Expenses |

Dew Rotor and her mother Leslirae Rotor at Toronto General Hospital awaiting double-lung transplant

Dew Rotor, a 33-year-old woman from Clayton, ON, is currently hospitalized, having received a double-lung transplant at the Toronto General Hospital on December 4th, 2013.

On April 7th, 2014, Dew learned that she has developed polymorpohic B-cell lymphoma is a polymorphic due to the fact that her new lungs at the Epstein Barr virus and Dew had no antibodies to the virus. She will start cancer treatments next week, and thus will have to remain in Toronto much longer than originally anticipated.

The purpose of this website is to raise funds to cover the extra expenses that Dew and her mother and full-time caregiver, Leslirae Rotor, have and will incur during their stay in the Toronto area prior to Dew's transplant and for an extended post-recovery period. These expenses include such costs as accommodation, meals (the hospital cannot meet Dew’s requirements for a specialized diet), medical, transportation, moving expenses, etc.

Your financial assistance for this family would be much appreciated.

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About “Dew Drop”

Dew Rotor with her hypoallergic Toby Cat

Dew Rotor, nicknamed “Dew Drop” by her friends – a young woman who should be at the prime of her life at 33 – has been living with her mother, Leslirae Rotor, in the outskirts of the village of Clayton, Ontario, since 2005.

Dew graduated from Canterbury High School, a creative arts school, in 1999, winning an award for drama. She graduated on the Dean’s list from Carleton University with an honours degree which included a double major in History and Sociology and a minor in Women's Studies in 2003. Dew then entered a Master’s Degree program in Canadian Studies at Carleton University just as she fell ill. She managed to complete the program with the exception of her thesis, but was too ill to continue.

Dew’s passions have included being an avid rock climber, participating in drama productions – her favourite play being Romeo and Juliet, creating crafts, and being a voracious reader since the age of seven. Her favourite literature genre is fantasy and her favourite authors include Dave Duncan, Neal Stephenson, Ursula Le Guin, Sheri S. Tepper, Orson Scott Card, Jane Austen and Shakespeare. Lately her passion is food – a necessity of life itself.

In 2010, due to her fragile health status, Dew was given a hypoallergenic cat whom she named Toby Cat – her owner, supervisor of their home, and her constant companion until her hospitalization. Toby likes to be clear about who is the boss.

Dew’s Illness

Dew fell ill on September 1, 2003, at the age of 23, with what started out as a very bad respiratory flu. When she did not fully recover from the flu, she began searching for the reason why. It took a year and a half and 10 medical specialists to be given a diagnosis of Sarcoidosis, which was, unfortunately, an incorrect one. The 2005 diagnosis was overturned in February 2013.

Dew suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, which has resulted from what is believed to be an autoimmune condition called Connective Tissue Disease. This disease caused scarring in her lungs, which severely reduced her lungs’ ability to exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen. In early 2013, less than 10% of Dew's lungs were still functioning and even the functioning parts of her lungs were severely compromised.

“On The List” for a Double Lung Transplant

Dew Rotor from Clayton ON wearing non-re-breather mask at Toronto General Hospital awaiting double-lung transplant

Dew was put on the list for a double-lung transplant by the Transplant Team at the Toronto General Hospital (TGH) in August 2013. However, in order to be on the transplant list, potential transplant patients must re-locate to within a two-hour driving distance of the hospital and must have a full-time caregiver.  This hospital is the only facility for such transplants in Ontario.

As a result, in mid-August 2013, Dew and her mother, Leslirae Rotor, moved from their safe haven in Clayton to near Guelph. 

On November 2, 2013, Dew was advised that her lungs have failed to the point that she must remain in hospital permanently until she receives her transplant. She may have to go on a machine to oxygenate her blood directly to keep her alive until a donor organ is available. It is now difficult for Dew to even talk because of limited breath and her need to wear a non-re-breather mask over her face. At rest, she now needs the maximum levels of pure oxygen from the hospital wall units, so almost no movement is possible. However, visits from friends and friends of friends are sustaining her, and, through Facebook, she keeps up with the news of her friends who are too far away to visit.

Her mother must now find accommodation in Toronto as soon as possible. TGH requires that Dew and her mother, her caregiver, live in Toronto for a minimum of three months post transplant as well, which will add further expense.

Dew's Current Status

Leslirae Rotor and Dew Lung December 16, 2013

For more on Dew's story...

Dew’s Support Team

Dew’s sole support is her mother, Leslirae Rotor, an international development economist who has not been able to work for the past three years and has been caring for Dew since her disease commenced. Leslirae and Dew need to maintain their home in Clayton while paying for accommodation in the greater Toronto area. It is not known how long it will take to find a “good match” from an organ donor. It could take weeks, months or years. Nobody can predict how long it will take for her to receive a transplant.  

Dew and her mother have very limited financial resources. Her mother has no income and has used up her personal resources over the last few years being Dew’s full-time caregiver. Dew is living on a small disability pension.

Uncovered Expenses

Moving & Accommodation Costs

In order to be on the transplant list, Dew and her caregiver, her mother Leslirae, had to pack-up their essential belongings and move to within a 2-hour driving distance of the Toronto General Hospital – all on very short notice. While in the Toronto area, they must also pay for their mortgage or risk losing their home in Clayton. They chose to move near Guelph where they were able to find cheaper accommodation than available in Toronto. However, now that Dew has been hospitalized until she receives her double-lung transplant, Leslirae must now find accommodations near the hospital, requiring yet another move.

Medical

While some of Dew's medical (prescription) expenses have been covered by the Ontario Drug Plan, many of her medicines and treatments, including physical therapies such as massage therapy, have not been covered. Dew has required these therapies to reduce her pain levels caused by structural problems from her difficulty breathing and the amount of time she spends in bed, all due to her failing lungs.

Transportation

While living near Guelph, travelling to and from the Toronto General Hospital two to three times a week with high gas prices, parking fees and restaurant or hospital meals, as well as trips to Kitchener for physiotherapy and into Guelph for doctor’s visits, blood tests and emergency hospital visits, have created extraordinary expenses. In addition, car insurance has risen because they are not living in their normal “low risk” rural area in Clayton and because of the extra mileage usage for frequent hospital visits.

Food

Food expenses have escalated, since Leslirae and Dew can no longer rely on their garden in Clayton for much of their needs. Due to being celiac and having food allergies, their diets are more expensive than average. Leslirae, through careful shopping, had a stock of essential food items at home, purchased with care on sale, but no longer has the time to shop for sales as she cares for Dew and relocates once again.

With Dew now in hospital, the food expenses have not ended. The hospital dietician has stated that the hospital does not have in-house cooking facilities and therefore cannot meet Dew’s food needs. Hospital staff removes food that is medically contraindicated because of Dew being celiac and having food allergies, but they do not make substitutions. Thus, the dietician has asked Leslirae to prepare and bring in healthy food alternatives to ensure that Dew will have an adequate diet.

Communications

Another additional expense is the need for upgraded cell phone service required by the TGH so that the hospital can reach them at a moment's notice.

A former participant in the transplant program – who had extended medical coverage, a wife who continued to work full-time, free accommodation near Toronto with a member of his extended family, and a number of family members who provided caregiver support post-transplant – reported that his extraordinary expenses were over $30,000 up until the end of three months post-surgery. Others have reported paying over $3,000 per month to rent a tiny apartment in downtown Toronto. These expenses might be possible for a family with at least one income earner, but are not with only a disability pension. 

Unfortunately, these additional costs are more than this family can afford. Having to move to Toronto is simply beyond their means but it is a matter of life or death for Dew.


Special thanks to Elizabeth Hare, Hare Publishing Services; Whirlwind Web & Design Services, Lisa Larter, Lisa Larter Consulting, the Civitan Club in Almonte, and People First of Lanark County for their invaluable love and support.