From the Daily Globe in Ironwood, Michigan:
IRONWOOD -- Friends will host a benefit for kidney transplant patient Gaye Trcka on Sunday at Manny's Restaurant in Ironwood.
Tickets are $6 for the meal, which runs from noon to 5 p.m. There will be a silent auction as well.
Trcka received a kidney on Jan. 11 from a cousin, Darla (Jacobson) Gratton.
Although Trcka's insurance paid transplant and hospital costs for both women, other expenses such as hotel stays and travel are not covered, according to Trcka's daughter Breanne Lombardo.
She said her mother has not been able to work in more than a year. Trcka has applied for disability, but has not been approved, her daughter said.
The kidney transplant surgeries went well, Trcka said Tuesday from home in Hurley.
"I'm feeling pretty good," she said.
She is suffering from steroid-induced diabetes, a side effect of the medications she must take to prevent her body from rejecting the donor organ.
The surgeries were done at The Transplant Center at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, in Minneapolis.
"They said it went very well," said Trcka, 47.
She was in the hospital for five days after the transplant, then stayed in a motel nearby for another five days.
Gratton, 48, a nurse, went home two days after donating a kidney.
"She felt really great," Trcka said. Then the soreness and fatigue that follows surgery set in.
"She thought it was going to be such a breeze. Everybody was telling me to tell her it's going to be a little while," Trcka said.
They find it reassuring to compare notes about their recoveries
"We felt better when we talked to each other," Trcka said.
Her cousin plans to return to work Monday.
Trcka underwent a double lung transplant a dozen years ago.
She suffered from primary pulmonary hypertension caused by a hole in her heart. The heart defect, present from birth, was discovered when she was 33.
In the years after the lung transplant, anti-rejection medications destroyed her kidneys.
Her health led her to leave her job as manager of Maurice's in 2006.
Trcka and her husband Bill have two children, Lombardo, 27, of Holmen, Wis.; and Corey Trcka, 24, of Wausau.
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