Charity Center

GivingTuesday- Dee Dee's Story
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Not many people have had as many health challenges in their lifetime as Dee Dee Shipley, but through her faith, she received many miracles.

Dee Dee was diagnosed with diabetes when she was two years old, unheard of in 1961.

She grew up into her adult years without an accurate means of testing her blood sugars and so, consequently, suffered all the negative side effects of uncontrolled diabetes.

At age 23, she met the "love of her life" and after marrying, a year later, gave birth to a 1 pound 14 oz. baby girl, due to diabetic complications. Their beautiful miracle baby was perfect in every way and just needed to grow.

At age 27, she developed kidney disease.  Her kidneys were going downhill so fast, her doctor told her she would be on dialysis in about one year.  With a toddler at home, she wasn't about to let that happen! Through faith and a miracle, she was able to start a study drug that extended the life of her kidneys for eight years.

Dee Dee went on dialysis for only five weeks before receiving a kidney/pancreas transplant at age 35.  The kidney worked perfectly, but 10 days after surgery, the pancreas failed and had to be removed.  Dee Dee says that was the worst day of her life.

When she tried to get another pancreas at age 41, the doctor told her she needed five heart bypasses first. She had the surgery and though her heart was fixed, she came out of the surgery completely blind.  Both eyes suffered an optic nerve stroke during surgery from a too-low blood supply.  Dee Dee's faith lead her to believe this was part of a divine plan for her life.

At age 44, Dee Dee finally received another pancreas which has worked perfectly since the day she got it.  Yet another miracle.

After 20 years, her first kidney transplant was on its "last leg".  By another miracle, her best friend was a match and she received that kidney on July 21, of this year.  She is so thankful for her dear friend who was willing to share such a priceless gift with her.

Through all the "gifts of life” she has received, Dee Dee and her husband have been able to fulfill their dreams and adopt 10 children. Dee Dee says, “My life is so blessed!  If it weren't for all the bumps in the road, I wouldn't have all my amazing miracles to share!"

This Giving Tuesday, people going through difficult struggles just like Dee Dee endured are searching for a helping hand throughout their health journeys. The National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin is determined to make sure that people like Dee Dee always see the hope in their life - no matter how difficult their journey may be. Help support the #KINDney campaign this Giving Tuesday and make sure everyone feels the kindness surrounding them. 


Last modified 2016-12-05 21:52:14