'Dear Santa: All I want for Christmas is a kidney for my Dad'

November 21, 2018 10:24 PM

From crashing his way through a demolition derby track to cruising the wide-open road on his motorcycle, and from fishing with the family to playing coach to his kids, life has been full-speed-ahead for Chris Fickbohm of Grantsburg, Wisconsin.

But now the 46-year-old husband and father is fighting just to make it through each day. 


"He's up all night. Pretty much all night throwing up," Kristina Fickbohm said.

"About a year ago is when the doctors told me that my kidneys were getting bad," Chris added.

The reason - Type 1 diabetes, which went from something Chris had maintained for the past two decades to something that could cost him his life. 

He is desperate for a kidney transplant.

"Last I heard I was at about 12 percent on my kidney use," he said.

His blood type is O negative - making it very tough to find a match.

"I've had a few people go and try to get tested, but nobody matches yet," he said.

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His large, blended family has been praying and reaching out for help.

"Facebook wasn't working, and it was like 'Does anybody hear us,'" Kristina said.

"You think (about) the future," she added emotionally. "You know, (the kids') graduation and their wedding days."

But when Kristina asked all her kids to make their Christmas lists for Santa Claus, her 8-year-old son's response stunned her.

"Donavin usually comes up to me with the whole entire Toys-R-Us ad," Kristina said. "And he's like 'I want this, this, this, this.' Well, he hands me this tiny piece of paper ..."

"Dear Santa: All I want for Christmas is a kidney for my Dad," said Donavin, reading from his list. 

"He's just a blessing," Kristina said. "I couldn't believe it. It was shock. Absolute shock and instant tears, obviously.

"It's hard to watch someone you love go through it, and then to watch your children go through it too. I have to be the rock when he used to be. That's probably the hardest part."

A matching donor for Chris must have an O blood type. But even if he gets that miracle, the Mayo Clinic is his only option for surgery and it will be costly.

Medical bills could be as high as $500,000. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help. 

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Jackie Cain

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