Well – it’s that time of year already – so here is our news!
JANUARY saw a quiet start to the year. We all had a few weeks holiday after Christmas during which time Al turned
FEBRUARY marked the return to school with Emma in Year 1 and Ashlea and Audrey back at preschool. Emma has had a great year at school – as well as making good progress in reading, writing and maths, Emma has learnt gardening, sewing and chicken wrangling.
In MARCH Murray and Alison both had cross matches with Ashlea to see if either one could be a suitable kidney donor for her. The results came back with good news – both cross matches were NEGATIVE (a good thing) and both Murray and Alison proved to be a good tissue match with Ashlea.
In APRIL Alison underwent all the relevant medical tests to see if she could become Ashlea’s donor – and PASSED. We booked a tentative transplant date for November with Al as the donor. Also in APRIL Ashlea and Audrey had their 5 year developmental assessments at RPA. It was lovely to go back and see our favourite doctors and nurses – it was extra special this year as we took Ashlea’s walking frame with us so that she could WALK into the nursery – the very same nursery she nearly didn’t make it home from.
In MAY we had the girls belated birthday parties with a huge jumping castle in the backyard.
In JUNE we started to think about school for Ashlea and Audrey for next year. Ashlea has been offered a place in the support class at our local public school so will attend school with Emma and Audrey next year which we are very happy about. Are our tiny little babies really all grown up and ready for big school???
In JULY, after more than 20 years attending Christchurch Gladesville we made the move to a church closer to home – Norwest Anglican. While it was very sad to leave Gladesville, we have been made to feel very welcome at Norwest and are loving being only 5 minutes from church.
In AUGUST Ashlea and Audrey participated in their final preschool church service – actually Murray participated in that one too when he got roped into singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on stage in front of the entire church – but I digress. The girls have both loved preschool so much. It has been a fantastic experience for them both – but particularly for Ashlea who has been fully included in all preschool activities with Audrey.
In SEPTEMBER we had our first ever family holiday - to Bear Cottage - where we had a lovely, relaxing week. The children loved having craft on tap, a spa and access to the ice cream fridge. Murray and Al enjoyed not having to cook or clean for a week and having all of Ashlea’s needs being taken care of by the staff.
In OCTOBER Alison and Ashlea did a final cross match before the surgery and were knocked for six when the result came back POSITIVE (a bad thing). A positive cross match means that the recipient (Ashlea) has antibodies specific to the donor and would destroy any organ donated by that person. The transplant was postponed until a new donor is found. Ashlea’s kidney function is now quite poor (her creatinine is in the mid-400s whereas this time last year it was in the mid 200s). She is holding her own though and we are still hopeful of getting to transplant without needing dialysis.
In NOVEMBER Murray had the first of his tests to see if he could become Ashlea’s kidney donor. They had a NEGATIVE cross match (a good thing remember) and he passed his glucose tolerance test.
It is now DECEMBER and time to say good bye to preschool and many of Ashlea’s early intervention services who have been with us for many years. We will be very sad to say good bye to these people who have helped Ashlea so much and been such a significant part of our journey, but we are also looking forward to the new adventure of school. Also in DECEMBER Murray will have the remainder of his kidney testing to see if he can be Ashlea’s donor – though not until the 20th so there is no way we can include the results in this newsletter! Don’t worry we’ll keep you posted!!
The YEAR AHEAD promises many things. Audrey and Ashlea will start kindergarten and Emma Year 2. Al is hoping that this will mean a slightly less busy schedule as Ashlea will have a lot of her therapies at school. Al will be working Monday to Wednesday next year and is hoping to be available for cups of tea and chatting on Thursdays and Fridays. Call if you’re free!
If Murray gets approved as Ashlea’s donor hopefully we can plan a kidney transplant for around the middle of the year.
Thank you to all of those who continue to support us – both in prayer and practical ways – it really does make a huge difference to our lives. For those of you who pray, please pray for us as we face the challenges of the year ahead – for Ashlea to find a suitable donor, for her to not need dialysis in the meantime, for the surgery to go well, for a smooth recovery… for so many things. But most importantly please pray that we would trust God in all this and that we would be able to fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
And how good is that unseen eternal going to be???
Love Alison, Murray, Emma, Ashlea & Audrey
Those of you who read regularly will know that Murray has had his kidney tests and passed with flying colours. He will see the doctor in late January to find out if he can be Ashlea's kidney donor. Watch this space!!!