Your Donation Can Make a Difference!
James D. (J.D) MacRae
It’s been a very long road many of you have been on with me over the past 23 years.
As most of you know, at the age of 40, in 1997, I had a massive three-day heart attack followed by emergency quadruple bi-pass surgery. I was given a one to three-year life expectancy from the cardiologists. Shortly after that I began a long road of congestive heart failure that left me hardly able to stand up without passing out. I thought it could get no worse, but over the following years it did get worse. In 2005 I was just an estimated month from death when they put me through a second open heart surgery and received an LVAD hearth pump which provided the work of the left ventricle, allowing me to have the blood flow needed to keep me (my organs) alive. This was always expected to be an open ended “bridge” to a transplant.
Of course, the majority of this 18-year long period I was not able to work, and when I did, it was only sporadically and limited. After three attempts I did get disability Insurance through Social Security, which hardly equals an income, but it was very welcomed. It was at about the same time we pursued starting a fundraiser through NFT, which was a God send to my family.
On March2, 2014 I received a heart transplant. My 23-year-old heart (from Mandy) is an excellent match, and has shown no signs of rejection. After a year of rehab and getting myself back into shape, my life long friend Charlie Hurd and my wife Julie pushed me into sailing an Yngling. It felt great to be back on a sailboat after over 20 years. It turned out in our first year we qualified to represent the USA at the world Championship, which had been a life long dream after turning down a world championship in the lasers that I had qualified for in the mid ‘70’s. Thanks to my family, extended family, some friends and my American Express card we went to a two week event in the mountains of Austria. We went with the goal of sailing as well as we could, and have a great time. We did sail well, a few big issues including a breakdown, but we had a blast, and were the top USA entrant plus we received a trophy after tying for 13th out of 59 boats. Over the next years Julie and I have enjoyed life, sailing, skiing, snowshoeing, yoga, friends and family (We have two grandchildren I am here to enjoy!)
Two years ago, I found an architectural job to run a medium size firm and transitioning them into the next generation as the owner was no longer able to work due to health. In the time there, I helped identify new market sectors, I identified one of the two partners was a cancer to the firm and we removed him. I helped to select a new partner to the existing young partner. We identified some other major staffing needs, and set the company in its new direction. As I had more or less accomplished what they needed, and I had identified working the 20-hour weeks was actually too much for me. I would come home a nap for four hours each day. I simply am not able to put in that kind of mental and physical time week after week. I am still sailing, and after each race I go home and sleep for two to three hours.
The past couple years have not gone as smoothly heath wise. I have had three significant kidney problems, each one leaving my kidney a little more damaged. I also has a lung virus that damaged a part of my lungs, and I find myself winded easily doing physical activities. This type of health problem should be anticipated as the future unfolds. I am on anti-rejection and immune suppressant medications, these leave me venerable to any type of virus, bacteria or other type of bug down the line, including a heightened risk of cancer. I simply have no immune system to fight off bad things we normally do not even know happen.
Over the past 25 years, we have never fully covered our expenses with Julie working 40-60-hour weeks. Our debt is significant, and deepens every month, so I have decided to come back to NFT and hope to raise money to cover my medical expenses that range from $2000-3000 per month. NFT only covers medical expenses, no cost of living. With the help of this fund, I am hopeful we can have an even cash flow each month. I have been selling many of my past hobbies to try to keep our head above water, but have only occasionally just broke even. Now with NFT I can continue to sell my life long coin collection along with some valuable stereo equipment, tubes and records. I hope to finish restoring the Chris Craft I have been working on for the past three years which also should provide some significant debt relief.
I do wish I was not needing to ask for this help, but I simple do not know what else to do.
Thank you for your love, support and generosity.
Patient Health Institute: University of Minnesota Medical Center
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