Even if you’ve never met her, you may feel like you know longtime WSB’er “JanS.” She has participated in many discussions both here in the news section and in the WSB Forums since their inception almost four years ago. In the community, online and offline, Jan has reached out to help many, both with words and with deeds. And now she needs a little help herself. Her daughter, Jessica Diamant, tells the story, and explains how you can help … in small ways, and maybe even in a big way:
As some of you may know, my mom Jan Seeley (or as you may know her on the WSB forums JanS), was diagnosed with fibrillary glomerulonephritis, a rare form of kidney disease, last year. It was discovered after many months of extreme fatigue and anemia. After her diagnosis, she underwent treatments and chemotherapy for the disease, but unfortunately her kidneys failed, and she is now in end-stage renal failure. After a few more months of rigorous testing, she was approved and added to a kidney transplant list. I was planning on donating one of my kidneys to her, but due to the antibodies in her blood, we found out that I am not a good match. She is now on dialysis, which she goes to three times a week.
My mother is no stranger to struggle and health problems. After my parents’ divorce nearly 20 years ago, she built a home=based massage business from the ground up while raising a wild teenager (me) and trying to make ends meet.
Then, 15 years ago she spent some months in a hospital after a very severe case of pancreatitis and many complications of the illness. Since then, she has undergone many surgeries related to that illness, has had two hip replacement surgeries and was diagnosed with breast cancer 6 years ago. She had a half mastectomy, rigorous chemotherapy causing her to lose all her hair and many surgery complications resulting in more surgeries. And if all this wasn’t enough, a few years ago she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Needless to say we are no stranger to hospitals, surgeries, doctors, tests and prescriptions. She has been amazingly strong through all of this, always kind and generous with others and with a positive attitude. She has continued to try and work and support herself through everything, but I can see it beginning to really take its toll. I wish that there was more that I could do to help her. The diagnosis of kidney disease really came as a big blow to us last year.
Because she is self-employed, she does not have the benefit of receiving any sick pay when she can’t work, or taking time off for medical procedures and surgeries. With the kidney disease and the dialysis, it makes her very tired and massage is a very strenuous career, so she isn’t able to work nearly as much as she used to. It has been a huge struggle, for sure. We have sometimes had to rely on the kindness of our great friends in the community for help, especially with rides to the doctor and occasionally dialysis. (She doesn’t get around easily, and about a year ago her car was stolen from a mechanic after she was finally getting it fixed so she could use it again. It was uninsured since it hadn’t been running, and it was completely taken apart and gutted.)
So we have gotten together and decided to have a benefit to help raise money for my wonderful mom to help her with rent and bills. This is where you come in! We’re having a silent auction at Feedback Lounge on November 6th and we are collecting donations from our great community. We already have some awesome items in the works, including gift certificates to local businesses, gift baskets and local art, but we would love as much as we can get. If you own a business, provide a service or just own something of value that you would like to donate, please contact me at email@example.com and we can coordinate the donation with you.
Benefit is on November 6th, 2pm at the Feedback Lounge. We will have an auction, on-site chair massage, and a special drink and appetizer, with proceeds going to the fund for my mom. We hope to see you there!
And now, that one big thing. You can also contact Jessica for information about becoming a kidney donor. In Jan’s case, her daughter says, “She can take blood types B and O.”