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August 12, 2020

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Kimberly Badertscher's story

Go Fund Me site established to assist with a July kidney transplant

A Go Fund Me fundraiser is underway this summer for Kimberly Badertscher, Ada HS and Ohio Northern graduate, according to Sharon Badertscher, her mother.

Kimberly has been scheduled for a kidney transplant at the end of July. She is responsible for 20% of the bill, a minimum of $20,000 out of pocket just for the transplant surgery itself. 

There will be additional costs, such as hospital stay, any labs or testing, pharmacy medications and supplemental oxygen.

Click here to visit the site and to read Kimberly’s entire story. A brief summary follows:

Born with Cystic Fibrosis
Kimberly, 42, was born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a debilitating, genetic disease affecting the respiratory system, especially the lungs, digestive system, the sinuses and reproductive system, among other things. There is no cure for this disease.  

Kim was diagnosed at age 4.   

She was very active in high school, college and in her profession with many different groups and organizations. 

She completed a bachelor of science degree, double majoring in Sports Medicine and Health at Ohio Northern University. She also completed a Master of Science degree in Physical Education with a concentration in Exercise Science from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania.  

She worked as a certified athletic trainer for over nine years before her failing health forced her to stop.

In 2008, Kim was evaluated for a double lung transplant at Nationwide Children's hospital in Columbus. She did this just a month after her sister, Angela, died from complications suffered due to her CF.   

Kim decided to complete the testing required for a double lung transplant and transferred her care to the Cleveland Clinic. 

Listed for a double lung transplant
She was listed for a double lung transplant in March of 2009 and struggled during this time as her health was quickly declining. In February of 2011, she was flown to the Cleveland Clinic for life saving measures.  

Kim was place on ECMO, a life sustaining heart lung machine. Finally, in March of 2011 a donor match was found and a lung transplant took place.  

She ended up spending a total of 6.5 months in the hospital. She was discharged in August and returned home in September. Kim has incurred countless amounts of medical bills during and well after this time. She still has many medical costs on a monthly basis and is unable to work and is on disability.

Soon after surgery, Kim experienced acute kidney failure and needed dialysis frequently throughout her recovery process. Kim has been followed by a nephrologist since this time. She also needed to adjust her diet accordingly. Approximately five years after her lung transplant, Kim began going to a local renal clinic. 

Placed on dialysis
Kim was placed on dialysis as a life sustaining treatment. Kim chose peritoneal dialysis. This makes it possible to have a more independent lifestyle. She had a catheter surgically inserted into her abdomen.  

Due to her immunosuppression that keeps her from rejecting her lungs, she took longer to heal. This slightly delayed starting the dialysis treatments. She was finally able to begin dialysis treatments in May of 2016.  

During the last four years, Kim's quality of life has been decreased immensely. She has experienced many symptoms of kidney failure, some on a daily basis. She has also been hospitalized many times for fluid overload and other kidney related issues. 

Kim was evaluated for kidney transplant at the Cleveland Clinic and was finally listed. She had been made inactive on the list due to a loss of lung function and other medical issues.  

In September of 2019, Kim was evaluated at the OSU Wexner Medical Center. Her lung function was improved. The surgeon there said that her was a good candidate for kidney transplant with the intentions of all of the testing having acceptable results.  

She was listed for transplant a few months later. Now, to find a living donor to increase the rate and length of survival.

Kim’s youngest sister, Michelle, was tested and is a match allowing Kim with a potential donor.  

Covid-19 canceled surgery
Then the pandemic of Covid-19 happened and all elective surgeries were either cancelled or postponed due to the need to care for those who were infected by the virus. The kidney transplant was deemed elective because she had her sister as a donor and her dialysis treatments would keep her alive.

Finally, surgery is scheduled for the end of July.