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Family of Melanie Kirk will host fundraiser to cover her post-operative expenses

Melanie Kirk - Courtesy photo
Melanie Kirk
— image credit: Courtesy photo

An Auburn family is preparing to host a pasta-and-Caesar salad, all-are-invited dinner April 28 to raise money for the post-operative needs of one of its own: a daughter, a sister, an aunt.

Don Eddy, father of Melanie Kirk, a 1978 Auburn High School graduate, and his family hope to raise about $7,000 to cover expenses his second daughter and third child incurs after kidney transplant surgery April 22 in British Columbia.
While B.C. will cover all of Melanie's medical expenses, it won't pick up the cost to rent an apartment for two months within five minutes walking distance of the hospital.

Likewise, it won't cover the expense of her husband's weekly round trip to that apartment, most of it via ferry, to care for her, or for their actual living expenses while they are there.

"We are looking for donations or for people to come to the dinner," said Don Eddy. "It's only $15 a person, so families can come."

The event is 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 28 in the Rainier Room above OddFellas Pub & Eatery, 102 W. Main St.

Melanie Kirk, who celebrates her 53rd birthday on May 1, was 12 years old when the first symptoms of her disorder appeared, though nobody at the time realized it was kidney disease.

It took the form at first of a relatively mild 100-degree fever. Within three to four days, however, her temperature spiked to a parent-harrowing 103-to-104 degrees.

Still, within a week, the crisis seemed to be over.

As Melanie's worried love ones soon realized, however, it had not been a one-time episode.. After the first occurrence, Don Eddy recalled, the symptoms returned to lay his daughter low again and again, every 60 days, like clockwork, he said.

Years passed before doctors correctly diagnosed her malady. And when they did, they scheduled her to start kidney dialysis by her 16th birthday.

Before that, however, the disease went into remission.

Years glided by without any noticeable problems. She married, moved with her husband, Keith, to Nanaimo on B.C's Vancouver Island. The couple raised a child.

Doctors monitored her condition over the years. By January of 2012 her kidney function was down to 12 percent.

"She found her own donor, one of her best friends in Nanaimo, who is an almost perfect match," Don Eddy said.

Melanie Kirk's friends and family in B.C. are also throwing a fundraiser on her behalf, a burger-and-beer bash April 14.

To contact Don Eddy, call (206) 412-9093.

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