Geneseo woman asks for help

Claudia Loucks
Amanda Baumgardner, who owns and operates My Moon Creations in downtown Geneseo, is scheduled to undergo a kidney auto-transplant in June at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Amanda Baumgardner is asking for prayers – prayers for a successful surgery and prayers for help with her business.

Baumgardner, owner and operator of My Moon Creations at 104 South State St. in Geneseo, has been diagnosed with two rare kidney disorders referred to as Thin Basement Membrane Disease and Loin Pain Hematuria Syndrome.

According to Baumgardner, the Pain Hematuria Syndrome affects less than 1 person in 10,000. Both disorders are characterized by blood in the urine and near-constant pain.

She has been advised by her nephrologist and surgeon that she must have a transplant or she will enter into end stage kidney failure. While her left kidney is the more troublesome and needs more urgent attention, Baumgardner suffers similar problems in her right kidney.

She explained that for this particular procedure, the transplant of choice is called an auto-transplant which is when the surgeon removes the kidney, cleans it out, and then re-implants it in a near by, but different part of the body.

The procedure is described as “extensive and complex,” and according to Baumgardner, only four facilities in the United States perform the procedure. The nearest, and largest, is at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she is on the list, but likely will not get to have the surgery until June at the earliest.

After the surgery, her recovery period is estimated at from six to nine months, which presents a difficult situation for the business owner. She will need a great deal of help in keeping the store up and running while she recovers.

The patient also will incur significant hotel and travel expenses for her caregiver, who must, according to University of Wisconsin procedures, remain in Madison with Baumgardner until she is ready to go home. The time period she must remain in Madision could be up to two months.

While Baumgardner does have health insurance, she said it will not cover all of the costs of the surgery as well as the costs associated with keeping her store open and active.

An account has been set up at Vibrant Credit Union in Geneseo where donations can be made directly to Amanda’s Kidney Fundraiser.

Her church family at First Lutheran Church in Geneseo also has set up a GoFundMe account which is https://gofund.me/7d0a1833.

Baumgardner shared her appreciation for her church family and said they have offered to cover store hours so that her business can remain open…”I am going to need customer support to keep the store open,” she said.

My Moon Creations features a unique variety of handmade items and antiques from home décor, furniture, alpaca items, baby toys and accessories, doll clothes, jewelry and scarves to kitchen items. Items at the shop are made by Baumgardner and by vendors from within a 30-mile radius.

The church also plans to have a meal train established when Baumgardner has had the surgery and returns to Geneseo.

Anyone who would like to help in some way is asked to contact the church at 309-944-3196; Sheila Puls at jspuls91@gmail.com or by calling My Moon Creations at 309-489-0123.

Baumgardner is Mom to 17-year-old Natalie and 14-year-old Camden. She lives in Geneseo with her significant other, Bruce Carmen