Lynette Daniel would like to wake up one morning and find her life has changed. She has a list of things she'd like to be able to do - most of them things that are taken for granted by most people.
The 27-year-old said she dreams of eating anything she wants - even if just for a day. She'd like to pick up a book at random and read it, or hop in the car and drive through the canyons.She'd settle for having some energy.
Doctors at LDS Hospital say that her goals are not out of reach.
With a kidney-pancreas transplant, Daniel could do all of those things. But while her insurance will pay for a kidney transplant, a pancreas transplant is still considered experimental and is not covered. She has joined forces with family and friends to try to raise the $12,500 needed for that portion of the surgery - a small goal compared with most transplant costs.
Daniel has had Type 1 diabetes since she was 4 years old. The condition is so severe that she requires multiple insulin shots daily. But the insulin has not stopped the disease from ravaging her body. As a result, she has diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy.
"I'm legally blind," she said, "although I can read books if they're very large print. And I can see well enough to walk around some, but I can't drive. The neuropathy means my nerve endings are blocked. I'll have extensive pain, like in my hands and feet, then they go numb."
The diabetes has attacked her internal organs, so she has trouble digesting food and is frequently sick. But the most serious damage has been to her kideys. They no longer do their job, and Daniel spends more than nine hours a week on dialysis. When she is home, she describes herself as "lethargic."
The gravity of her situation has moved her to the top of the list of those waiting for kidney-pancreas transplant at LDS Hospital. A telephone beeper, donated by the Interlink Co., is her constant companion.
Despite the stress created by illness and financial worries, Daniel is upbeat. "I'm really desperate," she said, "but I'm fortunate to have very supportive parents and sisters. They've held garage sales to help raise money, we've contacted some radio stations and local churches looking for help, and I'm hopeful."
She has reason to be. According to her doctors, the prognosis is good. With the transplant, she won't have to take shots or continue dialysis treatments. Although her vision will never be good again, she may regain some of the vision lost - and if not, at least the deterioration will stop. So will the numbness. It could also partially reverse the nerve damage she's already suffered.
Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the Lynette Daniel transplant fund should contact the Deseret Foundation at LDS Hospital, where an account has been established. Every penny donated will benefit Daniel. The address is Eighth Avenue and C Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84143.