As gamers, we are part of a larger community. A community that supports and encourages its members. Today, one of our members needs our support.
Dakota was brought to my attention by a gamer / police officer that I know from attending Gary Con:
This young lady has been attending GaryCon since she was a kid, but hadn’t shared much of her medical problems with gamers until this year. She unloaded on me and my crew and we were afflicted with the Do Something disease that can still seize even the most bitter paladins… Having 3 coppers there, we were determined to blast this out to cops and gamers.The Tavern will match the first $250 raised by members of The Tavern's Community. Just make a comment below and let me know how much you gave. Please don't stop giving when the $250 is matched. Please DO share this far and wide. Thank you - Tenkar
From Dakota's GoFundMe Page:
Dakota Alvarado-Ortiz teaches before- and after-school programs for K-5 students in Green Bay, WI. She is a sharp, energetic, outgoing young woman who enjoys dancing, modeling, and fantasy gaming. Most importantly, Dakota is the devoted mother of a 2-year old daughter, Scarlett.
Since the age of 6, Dakota has suffered from chronic hydronephrosis: her kidneys fill with fluid, become infected, and ultimately lose function. Hydronephrosis is usually a symptom of another problem, typically a blockage – but in Dakota's case, her doctors have yet to determine the cause. She has endured dozens of surgeries and learned to live with near-constant pain.
Dakota's right kidney had to be removed two years ago; her left one was recently assessed at 20% function and diminishing gradually. When it falls below 15%, she will need to be on continual dialysis. To have a good chance at a healthy, normal life, Dakota is badly in need of a kidney transplant – and there have been obstacles to this.
Because Dakota has a rare blood type, there are no eligible donors among her family and friends. The hospitals that could perform the transplant have not placed her on their kidney lists because the cause of her hydronephrosis is not known, and patients with more certain odds of success are given priority. She has been told that when the function of her remaining kidney drops below 15%, becoming imminently life-threatening, she will have a greater chance of being placed on the list – but has not been guaranteed a spot. IF placed on the list, she would wait on permanent dialysis, with an undetermined number of patients ahead of her. She would not be able to work and would have difficulty supporting her daughter.
There is a much more promising option for Dakota, however: two hospitals would place her at #3 on their kidney list at a cost of $100,000. This figure is not merely a donation to their institutions; it also covers, in advance, all medical costs of the transplant for both Dakota and the kidney donor. A properly functioning kidney would set up Dakota (and Scarlett) for an immeasurably brighter future.
Dakota's family does not possess the financial means to meet this daunting amount, and we are hoping to do so with this fundraiser. Even if we fall short, the funds raised will be an enormous help; Dakota's medical insurance is less than optimal, and she is slowly paying off substantial out-of-pocket costs from prior procedures and emergency medical services. An amount less than needed for placement on the kidney list could alternately enable Dakota to wipe out her existing medical debt, with the remainder placed in her kidney savings account toward her future transplant.
Thank you for your consideration.