Transplant Candidate, Michael Crosby

Michael Crosby is a 47-year-old single parent living in Framingham Massachusetts. He was diagnosed with diabetes on his 14th birthday. In his twenties he had been diagnosed with kidney, nerve and heart disease. At age 32 he was then diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy.

In 1997 he began laser surgeries at Mass Eye and Ear in Boston in an attempt to prevent blindness. In one year, after having had 24 eye operations, Michael went completely blind. In 2000, one of his eyes was removed and a prosthetic eye was fitted. He was free from medical issues in 2001, and then his health plummeted.

In 2002 and 2004 he received a kidney transplant and a pancreas transplant, respectively, at UMASS Medical Center in Worcester. The transplants cured him of his diabetes and he felt like a new person.

He enjoyed relatively good health until April of 2012 when his pancreas failed. This was a devastating, and once again, life altering diagnosis. He has completed the process with UMass Medical Center to receive another pancreas transplant and is currently number one on the transplant list. His Doctors have told him he has a 50/50 chance. This will be his third transplant and his Doctors have told him that their skills may not be enough for him to survive this.

Having once had a career of delivering furniture for Bloomingdale's and building houses with his brother, his life has taken a turn to survival mode. The emotional and financial strain can be overwhelming. His sole income today is from SSI. Two of his sons are living with him now, and with the help of his guide dog, Usma, he is able to remain independent and do whatever he can to maintain a stable home.

He has always told his children that no matter how bad things get in life there are motivations to move us forward, his children are his motivation. They have seen their Dad struggling for years and always trying to make the best of every situation. Staying alive for his children is critical and as you can tell by reading this story he is a fighter and determined survivor.

Michael J. Crosby 6/16/13

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