- Posted August 28, 2013 by
LAS VEGAS, Nevada
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The Journey of Justin Iorii
When I found out that my medical insurance would only cover a small portion of the surgery, but NONE of the pre and post transplant costs, I was shocked. With each passing day I become more discouraged and am to the point I am desperate.
I opened up this page in hopes that it will work as a last ditch effort to raise the money I need to save my life. Please donate as much as you can afford and/or equally important share my fundraising website page with those in your network who might contribute to my cause.
A small glimpse of my journey…
I have been dealing with kidney complications since birth and was recently diagnosed with End Stage Renal Failure (ESRD). When I was born, I was diagnosed with hydronephrosis which refers to the fluid-filled enlargement of the kidney as a result of obstruction in its output of urine. This required my right kidney to be removed and my left kidney only to function at 70%.
Not only was I dealing with hydronephrosis, but the doctors also diagnosed me with vesicoureteral Reflux which refers to a twisted ureter tract. I was forced to urinate through a catheter until at age 3 doctors could operate to allow me to urinate properly without the catheter.
Following I would be carefully monitored by a nephrologist (kidney doctor) which involves going on regular doctor’s visits, taking daily medications and various procedures ranging in risk level. While I would have loved to not have to do all this I was still able to lead a very happy life, playing all different types of sports, and working hard to achieve my goals and chase my dreams.
Then came the start of my senior year in high school when I began to experience numerous symptoms mostly related my digesting food, having proper and pain-free urination and sustaining my normal energy levels. I was miserable. My doctor appointments became more and more frequent… countless blood tests, ultrasounds and procedures done to monitor my kidneys state of function. At the age of 19 they once again diagnosed me with stage 4 kidney renal failure.
At such a young age, I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know how severe and delicate the situation was. My condition and illness prevented me from playing sports and enjoying life; I was just sooo drained that I couldn’t do anything. As much as I wanted to feel normal I was having complications beyond my control. I needed a kidney transplant.
My family members were tested to see if they were able to donate their organ, but unfortunately none of them were a match. Before reaching the point of dialysis, a good friend of my family stepped forward and tested a match to donate her kidney to me. On June 22, 2004 I was blessed with the gift of life again.
Since that day I was a whole new person. I was back to being Justin Iorii, back into sports, achieving my goals, had a great full time job in the hotel industry and started college part-time. I was back, watch out world!
Fast forward to today…
Once again, I am diagnosed with kidney renal failure, but this time the worst stage, stage 5. L It has been an everyday struggle with completing just normal tasks, besides the fact that I can no longer work, go to school and have the same positive impact I used to.
I have been on dialysis since January and physically I’m extremely worn down. For 3 times a week for 4 hours each time I must go for dialysis treatments. I try hard to not show weakness or sadness to those around me because it is a passion of mine to make people smile and bring joy to their lives. I am swallowing my pride and sharing with you the truth that I fear every day might be my last.
The daily physical exhaustion I feel makes me a very limited version of the person I want to be, I must become again… I have to follow an extremely strict diet and can’t eat too much or have more than just 32 oz of fluid daily without my ankles swelling up so big that my feet look hobbit-like.
Should I raise the money I would like to…
ü I would like to spend quality time laughing with family and friends, having the confidence that it won’t be the last time.
ü I would like to go back to school and complete the 6 classes needed to earn my bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from The University of Las Vegas Nevada (UNLV).
ü I would like to resume an active lifestyle, rock climbing, playing soccer and working out.
ü I would like to come off my medical leave and resume working as a Casino Specialist at The Venetian Resort, the place of my employment for 5 1/2 years.
As soon as I found out that my insurance only covers a portion of my dialysis treatments, doctor’s visits, and hospitals stays I was in fear of not knowing what was going to happen. Right now and until I have a transplant time is my enemy and I am scared.
I am asking for donations as well as for you to share my fundraising website page with those in your network who might contribute to my cause.
Regardless of whether my goal is reached and my life saved please do not ever take life for granted, appreciate every moment especially with the ones you love.