Thursday, May 24, 2007

Refiner's Fire

There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, they came across verse three, which says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver. "

This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week, this woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work.

She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest, so as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot -- then she thought again about the verse that says, "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he also had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, how do you know when the silver is fully refined?

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh that's easy -- when I see my image in it."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image -- in you.

Be blessed!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Well, Julian is now officially on the list for a kidney. There was some miscommunication on the hospital end, meaning that I was told by the Transplant Coordinator that works with me that Julian WAS on the list in March, when he WASN'T. She thought he was, but apparently he had not been given approval from the financial department yet, because the financial department didn't know he wanted to be ON the list. Also they were trying to figure out the insurance situation, and we have come to the conclusion that Julian's insurance will NOT cover most of the expenses for the Donor's surgery, whether that donor be a live donor or a cadaveric kidney.

I am getting a packet of information from COTA this week, which is the Children's Organ Transplant Association. They help families coordinate with their communities to help raise money that can be used for transplant-related expenses. It is a non-profit, so any monies donated are tax-deductable. I will hopefully be getting something concrete in place in the next couple weeks so we can start fund-raising for Julian.

If it is a live-donor situation, our costs, no including the testing costs to see if the donor is a viable match, can be from 40-50K (or more if there are any complications). If it is a cadaveric kidney, the operation to remove the kidney and transport it and test it against Julian's tissue/blood type will cost 20-30K. And those are just the initial costs. If the kidney is rejected and further costs are associated with removing the kidney, Julian only has a 1 Million Dollar lifetime transplant maximum on medical expenses that ARE covered by his we will need all the help and prayers we can get.

I am not complaining about our health care system, it is the best in the world. And we will work hard to get Julian the best care in the world. I can't even imagine what we would have to go through if we lived in England or Canada. I shudder at the thought.

Thank you for checking in to the update!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

May 2nd Update

Today is Dave's birthday, Happy Birthday Dave! We are all going to celebrate at lunch today at Q'doba. My first suprise is that I'll clean the van, and have the oil changed. Later today I'll do an overhaul on our house while Julian is sleeping. It's the small things!

Julian is doing very well. They've moved his labs to about every two weeks, but he still seems pretty stable. Therefore, he is not on Dialysis yet. We are still hoping for a match with a live donor, and are still proceeding down that road as we wait for a "cadaveric kidney" from the list. I found out definitively yesterday that Julian's health insurance, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, will not pay for any donor testing. The blood tests are 2K a pop, and we've already had Dave tested. We've decided that if any non-relatives want to be tested we are asking them to raise the money for the blood test on Julian's behalf, because we just can't afford it on our own.

Meanwhile we also found out that insurance will only pay 10K toward the live-donor's operation. It's about a 50K operation, so that leaves the balance as our responsibility. We've come to terms that it is what it is, and of course I will be appealing every decision of the insurance, but meanwhile we are coming up with ideas on how to offset the costs. One of them is that I've just become an Arbonne Consultant. Hopefully over time this will give us an increased income, and we will be able to set aside money so that we have it in the bank for when he'll need a new transplant (15 years or so). That way we keep our options open, as a live-donor kidney is a much better kidney to transplant than a cadaveric one. It works better and lasts longer and has less chance of rejection. Secondly, a friend of mine in Estes Park recommended that we organize some kind of 5K Benefit for Julian. I think that's a great idea too. If any of the people being tested come back a match, I will get right on that.

He is so sweet. He is learning new words every day, and saying them. He knows all his numbers up to ten, and all his letters. He can point to them and say them. What a doll! He is an outdoor boy, and loves to go adventuring around our "yard" (if you can call 3 acres a "yard" him it's a whole new world!).

Thank you for your continued prayers!

Take care,