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Life4Dew ... a plea for help!

 

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

Dew Rotor December 2013

Dew March 2014

Breathless!

How Long Can You Hold Your Breath? We mean REALLY hold your breath?

Until you simply can't do it for another second! You feel that great intake and exhale of air when you BREATHE in and BREATHE out. Now just imagine that after holding your breath for as long as you can, the breath you can take is so minimal, it leaves you panting for more air, but there is just not enough air to take in.

This was Dew Rotor's story for 10 years, until on December 4th, 2013, and after 10 years of suffering from Pulmonary Fibrosis - an autoimmune condition called Connective Tissue Disease - Dew was given the gift of life: a double-lung transplant at the Toronto General Hospital.

With Dew requiring hospitalization, her mother and primary caregiver, Leslirae Rotor, needed to find accommodation that was closer to the hospital. To save on costs, Leslirae became a nomad and 'couch surfed' for much of the time at the homes of friends until she finally found a temporary home - for one month - in one location. This occurred just in time, as Dew received her transplant. Her condition was so severe that doctors estimate she would have only lived another 2 or 3 days without the transplant.

Post transplant, Dew experienced a number of setbacks before entering Toronto's St. John Rehabilitation Centre, which required yet another move for Leslirae.

After only 22 days in rehab, Dew was able to move into a hotel - The Residence Inn - with her mother. However, she now must go to the hospital at least 3x a week for physiotherapy and medical tests, which often set her health back for weeks and require intense periods of rest.

On April 7th, 2014, Dew learned that she has developed a post-transplant complication - Polymorpohic B-cell Lymphoma - due to the fact that her new lungs had the Epstein Barr virus and Dew had no antibodies for this virus. She has started cancer treatments, 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, incur during their stay in the Toronto area prior to Dew's transplant and for an extended post-recovery period.

If you can help with financial assistance for this family, it would be much appreciated. 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 as Dew's full-time caregiver. Dew is living on a small provincially-funded disability pension of less than $1100 per month.

Uncovered Expenses

Moving ($1500) & Accommodation Costs ($750-$3000/Month)

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, once Dew was hospitalized in mid-October, Leslirae had to find accommodation closer to the hospital.  They are currently living in a hotel close to the hospital, The Residence Inn, at a reduced rate, but one which is still not affordable for them.

Medical (~$90/Month)

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 the pain levels caused by structural problems from her difficulty breathing and the amount of time she is required to remain in bed.

Transportation ($300/Month)

While living near Guelph, travelling to and from the Toronto General Hospital two to three times a week with high gas prices, parking fees, food and lodging, 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.

Now that Dew and Leslirae are living at The Residence Inn in Toronto, they still incur a variety of additional expenses, especially for parking at the hospital. 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 ($800/Month)

Food expenses have escalated, since Leslirae and Dew can no longer rely on their home garden in Clayton for much of their needs. Due to being celiac and having food allergies, their diets are more expensive than average.

When Dew was in hospital, the food expenses did not end. The hospital dietician stated that the hospital did not have in-house cooking facilities and therefore could not meet Dew's food needs. Hospital staff removed food that was medically contraindicated because of Dew being celiac and having food allergies, but they did not provide any substitutions to ensure that she had a balanced diet.

Communications ($80/Month)

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.

Misc (~$100/Month)

A variety of additional expenses have been incurred because of being away from their home.

Unfortunately, these costs are more than this family can afford.

Please Help This Family to Breathe Again and Help Support Life4Dew!

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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.