Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Anniversary!!!!

Today my parents are celebrating their 37th Wedding Anniversary!

37 years!!!!

I talked to my dad tell him "Thank you for getting married and having me!" :)
He told me that the day he and my mom were married in the Los Angeles Temple was a busy day! He said that over 100 couples were married in that Temple that day and that they were there from 6 a.m. until after noon! He said to me, "I wonder how many of those couples are still married. Or who has died or something like that." It would be interesting to know.

I talked to my mom too. She was getting ready to go on a date with my dad. Out to dinner and than probably to do some Christmas shopping...which is sort of a tradition for them. She told me that she can't even remember what it was like to be a 19 year old girl (that's how old she was when she got married)...or to be a girl living at home with her parents and siblings. It seems so long ago.

My parents have definitely had their share of struggles over these past 37 years...there's been lots of good times too...and they are happy people who are happy to be together forever.

Love ya mom and daddy-o!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Transplant list

My dad found out that he will be put on the transplant list this coming Wednesday.

It doesn't feel real.

We will also look for a live donor match...but as of now, my parents social worker, Joe (assigned to them at Mayo) said that we will wait until next year. Not sure why....but we're gonna go with it. :)

For now, we are enjoying the fact that we can be around my dad. After his transplant he wont be able to be around groups of people for the first 6 months....and than he will have to be very careful after that.

...We have come a long way in the past 6 months. 6 months ago we knew my dad was sick and losing weight and tired all the time...but we didn't know why. Now we do! He's been checked out from head to toe by some of the best doctors around! He is cancer free with a healthy heart but a crappy liver! At least we know what we're up against!

We are still learning as we go!

Thanks for all of your prayers and support!

Sites to check out:

Organ Donation Site

Donate Life Site

Monday, November 21, 2011

Check out the new fundraising balance over in the sidebar.

We are almost there.

 I don't know how we will reach our goal...but we are SO close...I know it's gonna happen!

Thank you everyone for being so extremely generous in so many ways!

($12,000 is our goal for this year.)


Are you wondering how things went this weekend?

The breakfast and auction went well!!! We raised a decent amount of money and feel good about that. We feel REALLY good about all the people who were there to help. Including those of you who donated items for the auction (and those who bought them!) or came and had breakfast with us instead of at home.

My parents ward and neighbors really did all the cooking. They were amazing. Bishop Fuller has the mass production of pancakes down to an art!

Our auctioneer is the father of a customer from Whole Grain Bakery where my mom works. His name is Bruce and he was awesome. We really couldn't have done the auction without him. He knew what he was doing and was so patient and kind with me!

Skyline H.S. National Honor Society was so helpful as well. I didn't get their names, but there was a group of girls who helped me with the silent auction. They were very responsible and so willing to help. All those kids were great to give up their Saturday morning to come wipe down tables and help out where ever they were needed. Their teacher was awesome too. I didn't get her name though. (sorry...but thanks for all you did!)

I have been running off of a couple of hours of sleep a night for too many nights in a row with a cold on top of it....not good. I forgot to take a camera to the breakfast...I was too busy to take pictures anyways...but I could have had someone else take pictures but I didn't even think of that.

This fundraiser was defiantly a learning experience. If anyone reading this is in a similar situation as our are a few pointers if you are wanting to do an event like this:  For starters....give yourself at least 3 months to plan (we had a little over a month)...and really really work on ticket sells and don't have your event in a large facility if you are having an auction.

All in all...we are so glad we had the breakfast and auction. We raised money that we wouldn't have otherwise and we had the chance to work along side some really wonderful people who are just good to the core and willing to do all they can to help our family.

Knowing that there are people around you who really care is priceless.

Thank you THANK YOU thank you to everyone who participated in any way! We love you!



My dad will meet with the team over at Mayo Clinic this Friday.
After talking to my mom this weekend...there are a few new things I have learned. For starters...we will be looking for a live donor for my dad as well. Remember what I said before about them using a cadaver being the best? Well... I guess that information wasn't 100% correct because they were told last week that a live donor would be best and that they can reconstruct bile ducts for my dad to go along with his portion of the liver. They also told us that my dad is at an 11. A 15 what they look for. But, they said you can go up or down on that scale in a matter of days. My dad used to be at about an 18 a couple months ago. From what it sounds like, they will put him on the donor list and his place in the list will go up or down depending on his health. If he shoots up to a 28...his place on the list will go up. If he does down to a 9, his place on the list will go down. But...they don't want to wait until his health is too bad because than the chances of his body accepting the new liver and recovering from the surgery will not be as great. Meanwhile, we will be able to start testing (whoever wants to) to find a match for a live donor. My parents social worker through Mayo will be the person to contact. BUT...none of this will happen until after their visit with the doctors this Friday.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Why didn't someone tell me that I can't count!?

(cute couple right?)

I was driving home from Show Low last night (thank you Shannon+her mom for the comfy blanket for the auction!).... and I was thinking about how I hope for things to go at the breakfast and auction...hoping people will come and hoping we will have enough items for the auction....And the thought just popped into my head right there in my minivan "I haven't been counting down right on dads blog!" 

I take some comfort in the fact my one seems to have noticed....but there's a bit of discomfort in that fact as well! :}

So, really....there's ONE more day until the BIGGEST event of the MONTH! (I mean...we all love our turkey and are thankful for our blessings too right?) But this is big for our family!

Lots of people are working together with us...and we are so very grateful!

Tomorrow, at this time, we will all be enjoying yummy pancakes together and having a fun time out bidding each other at the auction!

You wont wanna miss it!!! (...especially if you need a new recliner...or a hand made clock...or come cute things for your little girls hair...or a new purse...or...)
Love you all!~Jen

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Just three days! 3!

A neighbor of mine donated a surround sound system for the auction....come and buy it!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


You don't want to miss it!

And come on....where else are going to get to feed your family a delicious breakfast (that you don't have to cook) for $25-$35 dollars PLUS be contributing to a WONDERFUL cause?

I'll tell you where. Skyline H.S. this Saturday at 8:30 a.m. (wear your pajamas if you wanna!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Only 5 more days until the Pancake Breakfast and Auction!

Do YOU have your tickets?

Have YOU accepted my challenge yet? (see Fridays post)

.....Dad is going on day two of testing at Mayo. Lainie is with him today!....


Monday, November 14, 2011


My favorite little 18 month old is always on my lap when I am at the computer. I love it when I go to my dad's blog. Connor will stop fidgeting and point to the screen and say, "Papa! Papa!"

Today is my dad's first day of testing at Mayo Clinic. It's an all day...all week thing.

I don't know when we will get the test results back. (Maybe my mom knows...I will ask her.) But, they are checking him from head to toe! He even has to go to the dentist and make sure there are no issues that could lead to infection.

...........breakfast and auction is only 6 days away!.............

Friday, November 11, 2011

I told you I'd give you a little auction sneak preview.

Want a weekend get away?

Come to the auction and bid on a "White Mountain Weekend". This includes two nights at the bed and breakfast in Snowflake, AZ and a one hour scenic flight.

Looking to give a little TLC to your skin?

Come bid on one hour of Aesthetic Treatment from Prolean Wellness

Interested in a Body Composition Scan? You can get one of those too!

Flower arrangements? Come on over and bid on it!

(You'll have to come to the auction to see what else is in store!)

BUT! We still need more items to make this a success!!!!

SO...I am issuing a challenge!

If you are reading this...make a donation. (something that can be auctioned off)

The breakfast+auction is 8 days away. That is plenty of time to send something through the mail.

  • If you are crafty...send something crafty you have made.
  • If you aren't shy...go to a business and ask for them to donate an item (sporting or camping equipment maybe).
  • Do you  like to cook? Get all the ingredients for your favorite dish together in a basket or something and send that with the recipe.
  • Cookies in a jar?
  • Soup in a jar?
  • a quilt?
  • burp rags?
  • hair clips?
  • a painting?
  • jewelry?
  • a framed photograph you've taken?
If you have an idea but aren't sure about it...leave a comment and run it past us!

I know you are going to accept my challenge. So have fun with it! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Mail items to: Murray Barrett
                       626 N. 99th St.
                       Mesa, AZ 85207

Love ya!

*(please send unused items only)*

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Little More Updating....

This weekend was Stake Conference for my parents. Don R. Clarke (click there) was their visiting General Authority.

Friday evening, my parents got a phone call from Pres. Lawler (their Stake Pres.). He told them that Elder Clarke wanted to meet with four families while he was there and Pres. Lawler immediately thought about my parents.

Saturday morning, my parents, Tiff and her little family and Kaitlyn (who had spent the night there) were able to visit with Elder Clarke.

My mom said that he brought the Spirit into their home...they felt it so strongly and it lingered for a long time after he left.

My dad was able to receive a Priesthood blessing (click there to find out what that means) from Elder Clarke. I wasn't I don't know what was said exactly....but my mom told me that he blessed my dad that our family will draw closer through this trial.

I asked Kaitlyn what she remembered about his visit. She told me that Elder Clarke told my dad that he needs to smile more. According to Kaitlyn, he told my dad that when he doesn't smile, he looks like Moses...and when he does smile...he looks like Nephi! :)

On another note.

My dad's new hepotologist over at Mayo prescribed a new medication. This one is for overt hepatic encephalopathy (click that)...which happens when toxins that the liver processes build up in the body (ammonia on the brain) and cause memory loss and lethargy. This is a medication that can really improve his quality of life while we awaits a transplant. But...the cost is incredible! It will cost $20 a pill. He needs to take two a day which means that for a month, it will cost about $1200! (That's with insurance!) So, we are working with the pharmaceutical company to get a discount. Pray with us that we can get help with that cost!

Plans are moving along for the pancake breakfast+auction! We are still needing more items donated for the auction!!! Please take a minute to think about something that you could donate!

I will post more about that later this week!!!

Take care! Love ya!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Thank you for all you have done for us....your good example...and for having a fighting spirit!

We love you!!

~Lynette, Sam, Lainie, Chris, Charlee, Jennifer, Brandon, Eric, Kim, Tiffany, David
...and the little one too!
Kaitlyn (your best b-day present ever!), Adelin, Weston, Daniel, Cooper, Connor and grand baby #7.

*pst* If you read this post, leave a birthday wish for dad and we will read them to him! Thanks!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Little Update on Dad

I have a lot of people ask me how my dad is doing. My answer is pretty much always the same,

"He's doin' alright!"

Truth is...his condition was sort of freaking us out there for a while. He was swelling up like a balloon! Since then he has quit his job which means he doesn't have to be on his feet for hours at a time and he can rest whenever he feels tired...which is often since he doesn't sleep well at night due to his PSC . He has also been on a low protein+low sodium diet. Making these changes has helped to keep his swelling under control.

My dad had his first appointment at Mayo Clinic today. My mom and dad met with a Hepatologist there. My mom called me after the appointment. From what she told me, it sounds like the appointment went well! They explained to her their evaluation process and the process of being put on a donor list. He said that a new liver goes to the worst case scenario first...and that my dad will be evaluated to see where he is at. I guess they have some scale they "grade" your condition by. If my dad is a 15 or higher, he will be listed. (I hope I am getting this information right!)....and his place on the list is determined by how good or bad off his liver is. His place on the list can also change as they do follow ups and lab work. They were also told that people with PSC (scaring of the bile ducts) do better with a cadaver liver instead of a live donor because you can't take as much from a live donor...but that they will look into his candidacy for a live liver donor as well.

This is the first time I have really sat and thought about someone having to die in order for my dad to live.

This liver disease and organ transplant stuff is no cake walk...but dad is doing it! He still has a good quality of life. He's sick but we are getting answers. Mom said that the staff at Mayo seems to be very supportive. The doctor told her that they will be getting to know each other (my parents, him, the surgical team...) very closely and will work closely together. That support is so greatly appreciated! He will have a full evaluation to check his over all health soon and we will find out about him being listed for a liver after that.

One thing my mom and a couple of my siblings have been concerned about is having people judge my dad...and think that he "did this to himself" by doing drugs or drinking alcohol. That isn't the case. He doesn't know how he contracted hepatitis or if that is even the reason for his PSC. He has also been on prescription medication for years to keep his Chron's disease under control and that could have contributed to his PSC as well. But you know what? There are people out there who are bad off because they drank or did drugs or were immoral...and maybe they are still doing those things while knowing that they have an incurable disease. I don't think that is a reason to be any less compassionate. (that's my personal opinion)

Thanks again for your prayers, your donations and your support!