“We aren’t going to let our Ginger go anywhere if we can help it,” says Jeannette Schroers, who is worried she will lose her friend to kidney failure.
Ginger Cole, 63, owner and operator of Soft Touch Hair Design in Florence since 1995, is awaiting a kidney transplant.
Meanwhile, between trips to Coos Bay for dialysis, she cuts, styles and colors the hair of her clients in her neat-as-a-pin shop on Nopal Street, where outside the flowers are blooming, but inside she often struggles to make it through another day.
She keeps on working, though, and enjoys the friendship of her customers and how she makes them look. She puts in as many hours as she can in an attempt to put money aside so she will be ready when she receives that special, hoped-for call — the call telling her a match has been found and she must rush to Portland for surgery.
By “ready” she means having the funds to stay four weeks in Portland. For a successful outcome, says Cole, her transplant counselor at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), where she will have her surgery, advises her to stay nearby for monitoring and quick response in the case of rejection or infection. Cole will also require a caregiver during that time.
“Too many people have come home and later lost their kidneys,” said Cole. “I want to do this right. But if they called me today, I could not go.”
The total estimate for lodging, transportation and a caregiver is $10,000. About $1,800 of that has already been raised.
Cole tries to raise enough funds on her own, but she finds the cost of driving to dialysis chips away at her savings. For the complete article see the 07-11-2012 issue.
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