From the Blogposts » inbox

Transplant Fund “Angel”

ButterflyI’ve mentioned a few times on finance-related posts before that we have several savings accounts that are directly associated with my CF. We’ve come a long way since we got married with our financial planning, and every time I wonder where our money goes, I’m reminded of how much we need to have sitting out of touch for medical events – medical events that would have sunk us faster than the Titanic had they happened 4 years ago.

One is our annual deductible/out-of-pocket savings account. We know each year that my first Rx is a $500 co-pay and we have a set maximum out-of-pocket that we are due to spend, so, with Beautiful being as wise and frugal as she is beautiful and kind, decided to set aside a set amount each month throughout the year to have that money banked in January. You may remember how useful that was this year when I had surgery on the 6th day of the year. No freaking out here.

The other account is our “absolutely don’t ever touch this unless/until Jesse has his lung transplant” fund. We’ve been saving for at least a year to put money away for the event of a transplant. About the time I created this site, we had been following several CFers who’d had transplants and saw how long they were out of work. Depending on complications with meds and stomach issues, they seemed to range from 3-6 months off the job.

Enough with the background and setup – I can’t wait to tell you all our exciting news.

Scene One

So about a month ago, my top-notch WordPress connections sent me a client in a pickle with a design gone bad and an urgent need to get her site back online. Since it was a personal recommendation from one of the top referrals, I made extra effort to make a good impression with my customer service skills and we got to know each other pretty quickly. We got her site running with a basic design and ultra-security in just a couple of hours with the intention to re-design in November with the full employ of my skills. Soon came a LinkedIn and Facebook request. I obliged.

Within another day I was asked something to the effect of when we were expecting a little Petersen running around. I sent her an e-mail with a quick line that I usually don’t let clients into my inner circle this quickly, but with her medical background, I sent her the link to my fostering category. About an hour later, after watching her go from post to post to page to page on the site, she sent another e-mail that she was crying tears of joy for us.

Scene Two

The next week I got either an e-mail or Skype voicemail to give her a call as soon as I could because she had an idea. Ideas can go either way in my industry, so I was prepared to kindly let her know that the idea needed to be redirected without coming across as, well, cross (it’s an extra step I have to take due to my personality profile) and down-putting. I needn’t have taken that step, as she dove into explaining that she was signed up for a major affiliate program for a webinar, book, and some other things I couldn’t have told you at the time.

That’s pretty typical, so I was expecting the next thing to be about how to incorporate that into her site. I was right, but only partially. She went on to explain that she and her husband have been looking for an avenue to bless others with their extra income and that she saw the affiliate money as extra. Brace yourself. She said that she’d like to create a fund to fill my transplant fund that she read about on the site!

I immediately had two (I hope natural) reactions: delight and pride. At first I was trying to figure out how to thank her but decline the offer because I earn everything we get. I almost as quickly recognized that as prideful and was reminded that would be denying her blessings by giving. Who am I to deny someone from the joy of giving? I quickly turned to delight and a crazy level of happiness that I had to curb and leave it at that rather than taking it to the next level of expectation or entitlement. I even waited until the next day to be sure it wasn’t a fluke and was actually going forward before telling Beautiful.

As of now, I have no idea how much has been raised because affiliate checks come out after a while, but she’s keeping the fund in place until our savings have been met and will move on to look for the next need that crosses her path. No single act of kindness from a near stranger has ever come close to this, so I made sure she knew how much this meant to relieving the pressure I had on my shoulders to save up that much extra income only to spend it on necessities rather than enjoying the fruits of our labors.

I’ve been struggling with where to take the rest of this from here for about a week now. Here’s where I’m going to leave this, I suppose. We will live our life as planned: as long as we can without a transplant, still saving what we can and not dependently relying on others, but graciously accepting this offer of assistance with our monumental goal. I’m not a fan of the phrase “give back” as if success owes anyone anything, as that would make others entitled to success’ excess, but I am a fan of “pay it forward” to help others as you were helped, even if it’s by another means.

For me, for us, for now, that means sharing our lives with you to give hope, keep dreams alive, and encourage everyone with CF to press on towards the day when there is a cure. If and when the day comes that I join the honorable TXP Club, our lives will forever change, but I’ll still be a CFer. New trials. New goals. New lungs. I’ve gone 18 months without IVs and almost 33 years with these airbags. Let’s see how much longer each of those stats can keep rising.


  1. MiddleAgedLady says

    WOW! That’s phenomenal news. I’m so very happy for you! I hope it all falls into place quickly and you can, indeed, breath easy!

    • Thanks! I was super torn between keeping this quiet and shouting it from the mountaintops with joy. What a relief it will be to “just work” instead of working this hard, which I suspect isn’t the best thing for me.

    • @MiddleAgedLady Thanks! I was super torn between keeping this quiet and shouting it from the mountaintops with joy. What a relief it will be to “just work” instead of working this hard, which I suspect isn’t the best thing for me.

  2. Jesse, that’s amazing news. I went to her web site to say “thanks.” Nice looking web site it is, too!

  3. rburkhalter30 says

    That is what cheerful and generous giving is all about. That is what serving God is. Taking what He has given and give it back in return. Your site has meant many things to us. I hope that those 33 year old airbags keep chugging along. When they need replacing, you’ll be ready and we’ll be ready to go the distance with you.

    • @rburkhalter30 That’s exactly how I felt when she told me they’d been praying for a cause. Can’t wait to see how it all plays out for me and for others. There’s more good news coming, but I don’t know when yet.

  4. mildred.petersen says

    What incredible news! Glad you were able to share it with everyone :>)

  5. Jesse: That is such great news. I am so happy for you guys. I know you are all about taking care of things yourself, but everything really does happy for a reason. Thanks for sharing the great story and great news. It is a wonderful way to begin the week:)

  6. RonnieSharpe says

    That is SO awesome. God is good.

  7. globalman2001 says

    Jesse, This is wonderful news and a real blessing. I am an old enough CF patient that I will be going for a whole body and improved brain transplant when my time is due. My lungs are still holding up at the tender age of 55 but these treatments (I am basically on the same routine as you) sure get old at times don’t they! God Bless and Congratulations!!

  8. lauramagsamen says

    There truly are angels among us!! PTL!