By Susan Monteleone
NARROWSBURG June 14, 2005 For better and for worse, for sickness and in health the vows that Sue and Ted Muller of Narrowsburg took 12 years ago have grown stronger as the years have passed.
And never have they been so important.
On June 23, Ted will give the gift of love and life to his wife Sue at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.
Shell be receiving a kidney from her husband, as diabetes has taken its toll not only on her kidneys but also her pancreas. She is currently insulin-dependent and has been classified with juvenile diabetes since she was three.
A couple of months ago, Sue began to feel worse than usual, and her doctor told her she would need a kidney transplant.
"Having diabetes is terrible. I am tired, and my health bothers me every day. It affects my eyesight as well as my blood pressure and circulation, and now my pancreas is failing. It is a terrible thing, she related.
Sue was placed on the donor list and was told that it could take years for a kidney and a pancreas, so her family started the process to see if they could donate but there was not a match.
Not yet, at least.
Sue's husband Ted, while waiting for his wife at Mt. Sinai Hospital one day, went to a nurse and asked if he could be tested. (Sue was unaware of the request.) The nurse told Ted that usually married couples do not match, but if he wanted to try, they would test him.
Love was on their side it was learned that Ted could indeed give one of his kidneys to his beloved.
Not that its all been roses since. Sue still needs a pancreas (for which a donor is yet to be found and which cant be transplanted until the kidney is accepted by her body), and Ted had to make some changes himself.
"I have had to give up smoking, eating junk food and a lot of other things and most of all, remain healthy but it means so much that I can do this for Sue, he said. She is truly my best friend as well as my partner in life, and I would do anything for her.
So on June 23, both Ted and Sue will undergo surgery. Ted will be first, followed by Sue, and both will remain in the hospital for a short time.
"I will be in for a couple of days, but Sue will be in longer, Ted said. Most of my recovery time will be taking care of her, and I could not think of a better way to recover.
Each of us has at least a six- to eight-week recovery time. So I will be the one taking care of the kids and the house," he explained.
Ted and Sue added, "We want to take a moment and thank everyone who has been helping us. From the cards, phone calls, moral support to the dinners, it has been a great thing, and we truly do appreciate everything that everyone has done for us.
The Mullers have two children, Thomas and Rebecca.
The prayers mean so much, and we could not be prouder to live in this community. It is a wonderful community, and we can never thank everyone enough."
A benefit dinner has been set up for the Mullers to help with incoming bills.
"We do have minimal insurance, but it does not cover all the medicines that I need and the time we will both lose from work. We are on a tight budget, but we are making it. With the operation in a couple of weeks, it will be tough," added the Mullers.
Thus the Sue Muller Kidney Transplant Benefit Spaghetti and Meatball Dinner will be held this Saturday, June 18, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Tusten Town Hall in Narrowsburg.
Tickets are in advance only. Adults are $6, children 4-12 are $3 and those aged 3 and under are free.
The event is being sponsored in part by Thrivent Financial, and tickets can be purchased through Ron and Jane Rasmussen at 252-3903, Ron and Carol Schalck at 252-3330, Joe and Maria Meyer at 252-6813, Kathy Hector at 252-7151 or Warren Doetsch at 887-4462. Donations are also being accepted by Ron and Jane Rasmussen at P.O. Box 141, Narrowsburg, New York 12764.