Friday, February 13, 2009

Good news so far from Mayo!!

FANTASTIC Valentine's Day News so far for Carole!!

We received the news so far my Mom has passed all preliminary protocol stuff [heart, blood thinning, lungs, etc] SO FAR, There is nothing eliminating her right now from being a candidate. On Weds, the selection committee will decide once & for all as well as once they receive cytology biopsy results.

Her doctor will call her Thurs or Fri. If she is a candidate, she will be bumped to top of list due to the fact it is a tumor. Also, she will become a national figure because of the rare nature of the cancer!

We have our flight booked for Saturday, so we will be going home to await the results. Depending on what they reveal will determine how soon we return for her to begin aggressive radiation & chemo.

Thanks to everyone for their prayers, keep them coming!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Liver Transplant Awareness Info!

Cindy and Carole attended a class in Mayo, which will provide insight about Liver Transplants:

"While at Mayo, they sent us to an organ transplant class, specifically re: the liver. We learned there is no age limit in a transplant candidate. A 90 yo man can get one. As long as the criteria are met. Criteria includes ensuring everything else is healthy to withstand such a major surgery. For a transplant, it is HEIGHT that determines suitability. If a person is 5'4" & the height of the available organ donor is also the same, that organ is considered. If a person is 6', the donor would also have to be 6', & so on. CHILDREN are more priority than anyone else. Also the severity of the illness is also top priority. The person must have less than 2 years to surivive. The wait-time for an organ is about 1 year. The liver weighs about 3 lbs & is the size of a football.

Mayo has a team of doctors, clergy, social workers, psychologists, etc., who meet every Weds for a selection conference where they decide on a weekly basis who is & not suitable for an organ transplant based on their criteria. It is not easy to get a transplant. Their goal is that the patient will be successfully thrive post-transplant. Mayo's 1st liver transplant was in 1985.

For more extremely interesting data, go to UNOS on the web that provdes data, UNOS sites for transplants [there are only 11 centers in the U.S.] as well as their donor awareness directives.

Mayo requires 8-10 hours once called for an organ to get from home to their site for transplantation.'"

Update about Carole

Just in from Cindy (Carole's daughter) Carole is getting more tests & procedures done, final tests tomorrow, returning home on Valentine's Day!

Thanks Cindy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Carole arrives at Mayo!

Cindy (Carole's daughter) has updates for everyone that is following Carole's progress, they have safely arrived in Mayo:

Cindy writes:

"My laptop crashed yesterday. my friend's brother lent me his so I will have limited access. I am on the guest pc at the hotel. unfortunately, i left the power cords home so i will not be able to use the laptops much at all nor reconfigure mine. it's been a long day. I will be keeping in touch providing updates via facebook because it's the easiest way."

"On the shuttle from the airport to here we met a guy 44 yrs old from boston who had cholangiocarcinoma & received a liver transplant but is coming here for checkups. he gave us very valuable information. His wife & I exchanged email addresses because they now are part of the 'fan club' of my mom's, but we all agree we probably will run into them throughout the week at Mayo."


We should hear more once Carole's test results start to provide more insight into Carole's future prognosis in regards to a Liver Transplant.

Cows on skis?

I asked Cindy what she could tell us about visiting MN and Mayo and she responded with:

"I noticed people ski all over to get to locations. I can only imagine if we were home (outside of Philadelphia) what that would be like all of us skiiing to get to locations. We'd probably be put away! So, besides Mayo, which is a very huge place, a sort of city within a city that you can traverse underground, I didn't see anything but the twin cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul, grazing cows, & people on skis!"

I'm so glad that Carole and Cindy are able to keep their spirits high, sounds like they had some laughs together! I would love to see the cows skiing...oops I mean the people skiing to get around, that sounds much better then filling up at the gas tank in Philadelphia!

Sign up for Carole's Newsletter for continued updates on her progress and their trip to Mayo. You can help Carole's quest by entering the "Spring to Action" contest and help us spread awareness about Carole's need of a Liver Transplant. You could win your choice of 10 fantastic handmade items donated by various artisans.

Donations are appreciated, you can donate (using paypal or credit cards) in honor of"Carole Stites-Luka" at:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Carole's blog featured on!

Transplant patient using blog to raise awareness and fundsFeb. 5, 2009 – After visiting her doctor for a routine checkup in 2008, Carole Stites-Luka, of Glenolden, Pa.....

Wow, check it out!

Donations are accepted "in honor of Carole Stitles-Luka"