ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
How much would you give to save your spouse? One Twin Cities woman who will be giving her husband one of her kidneys says, “Whatever it takes.”
The pair have been married for fewer than six months, and Trinh Kelleher knew about her hubby’s condition before they took their vows. Now, she’s preparing to make good on that promise to be there in sickness and in health.
“Ever since I met her, I knew I wanted to be with her ’til the day I died,” Travis Kelleher told FOX 9 News.
The two met in 2008, and Travis Kelleher — not wanting to eventually hurt her — told her up front that he was born with Fabry disease, a genetic disorder that affects organs. Even though he thought might only live into his 40s, Trinh Kelleher wanted to make the most of whatever time they could have together.
“He was a good guy. He made me laugh and I knew I wanted to be with him,” she said.
Every other week, Travis Kelleher spends four hours getting enzyme infusions to help protect his organs. He’s been doing it for 11 years, but that couldn’t scare Trinh Kelleher away.
“I didn’t want to lose out on a possibility of something because of a health issue,” she said.
Unfortunately, Travis Kelleher’s fears became a reality in October. He found out he’d need a kidney transplant, but Trinh Kelleher stayed by his side. The two were married in January at the drive-through Wedding Chapel in Vegas.
When they returned home, they began looking for a donor. Four family members and two friends were tested, but to no avail. In February, Trinh took the test too.
“To be honest, I didn’t think I would be a match,” said Trinh Kelleher.
Now, the two are awaiting surgery, which will be completely covered by insurance; however, the medication that Travis Kelleher will need to stay alive will run the couple between $3,000 and $4,000 each month.
A benefit to help Travis Kelleher with his medical expenses kicked off on Sunday at Shamrocks at 3 p.m. Details about the event can be found below.
Travis Kelleher Benefit
Host: Trinh Tran Kelleher and the Kelleher Committee
When: Sunday, July 22 from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Where: Shamrocks – back room995 W 7th St. St. Paul, MN 55102
Tax-deductible donations can also be made online here.
The National Foundation for Transplants is also working with volunteers and supporters to help relieve Travis’ growing burden of expenses. NFT has been assisting transplant patients with fundraising support for 29 years.