CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - A Clear Lake woman who has a rare blood disorder is looking for a liver donor, and if that donor comes forward, she wants him or her to be supported financially during their recovery.
At the age of 18, Cassie Masters was experiencing weight gain, but didn't know why. Despite working out and eating healthy, nothing worked, and after a hospital visit at Mayo Clinic, she found that she had Budd Chiari, where a vein can be clotted off to the liver, and doesn't allow what's been processed by the liver out. After many visits with doctors, she had a shunt put in, but recently, she was notified it wasn't working anymore, and is needing to get a transplant.
"I have about two years that the doctors want me to be able to get a transplant. What they're assuming is after two years, my health will have deteoriated enough to where I will be in that situation where I'll be that person that has 90 days."
She's been on the wait list since she was 18, and has come close to receiving one. However, a recent transplant did not meet Mayo's criteria, and was not put in. In addition, she is healthy enough to where she is given less precedence for a transplant.
On Saturday, a fundraiser was held for her and her some day donor. She's wanting to help that person who will go through so much, such as missing work, to help extend her life.
"That's a big thing. You're off work up to three months as a donor. Some people can go back sooner, but you're off work for a long time. For some people in a single household or single family household providing the income, that's tough."
A former organ donor herself, Masters says the need is great.
"About 22 people die a day waiting for a life saving donor. And there's 22 people a day that don't get that. We have people every minute every day getting diagnosed that need to get on the transplant list."
If you're interested in donating to the Masters' Miracle Fund, there's an account set up at Clear Lake Bank & Trust, as well as on Facebook, which has so far collected nearly $6,000.
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