Any one of Tricia Dorring’s three hardships would be difficult, but having to face all three at the same time has motivated family and friends to rally for emotional and financial support.
Tricia’s first challenge came in December when her son, Alexander, 5, was diagnosed with glomerular disease.
The disease inflames the tiny filters in the kidneys and can lead to kidney failure. There are a number of causes, but, to date, no one knows why her son has blood in his urine.
Doctors have ordered blood drawn “six dozen times,” Tricia said. The process is as painful for her to watch as it is for her son to endure. She said it once took five people to hold him down.
The tests, the constant worry about her son’s future health and frustration have, at times, played havoc with Tricia’s emotions. “They can’t treat it. They can only treat its cause which they can’t find. They’ve done two biopsies and still can’t find the cause,” she said.
Glomerular disease can be a side effect of a common infection like strep throat. It can also be inherited and Alexander is currently being tested for Alport syndrome, a condition that affects males more severely than females and can cause vision and hearing impairment.
Alexander attends Discovery Academy on the campus of Notre Dame in Toledo. He cannot play sports and has to be careful not to take a blow to the kidneys.
Eight months after negotiating through the medical and insurance professions on behalf of her son, the East Toledo mother, age 34, found herself doing the same thing for her own health. On July 28, Tricia felt a lump in her breast. That led to an ultrasound, a mammogram, a biopsy and surgery on Sept. 9 to remove two tumors and lymph nodes in one breast.
She awaits a second surgery scheduled for Oct. 21. That will entail a bi-lateral mastectomy and reconstruction followed by chemo.
One month after finding that lump, Tricia was hit with her third tragedy. Her father Franklin Dorring, 63, was driving his motorized wheelchair across Navarre Avenue near Coy when he was hit by a teen driving to Walmart to buy school supplies.
Frank Dorring lived 12 hours after the accident and Tricia visited him in the hospital. She vividly remembers the way hospital personnel covered her father’s broken body so she wouldn’t see it. “They only showed me from about his nose down to his chin and the one hand. Other than that, he was covered. His whole left side was broke. Both his hips were broke, his left leg, his pelvis, his arm, his face, his whole left side.”
Her father lived in Zanesville but moved here to be with family and undergo treatment for end-stage emphysema at a Sylvania rehab center. Upon his release on July 2, he moved into Amberwood Apartments in Oregon. Tricia said her father went to a party story at the corner of Navarre and Coy to buy cigarettes. As there are no sidewalks along that stretch of Navarre, he crossed the street at night without the benefit of a crosswalk.
By the time the accident occurred, Tricia was struggling financially. She took a $1,000 advance from her bank to pay for cremation. While she has insurance through the University of Toledo where she works in the print shop, she has exhausted her paid sick time and is using unpaid time through the Family Medical Leave Act. She was off work two weeks for her first surgery and will be off eight weeks for her upcoming one. So, her friends and family have organized two benefits to help with living expenses and deductibles. The first was a scrambles golf outing, the second is a day at the Pioneer Inn Saturday, Oct. 29, Noon to 9. Her mother, Jacquie Dorring, owns the Perrysburg restaurant where customer Al Collins is organizing a poker run, silent auction and a night of live music. There will be three bands, 50/50 raffles, door prizes and a silent auction.
Another customer who does karaoke for the inn, Jerry Sandford, organized the scrambles event.
Janet Shaffer, Tricia’s childhood friend, is also helping. The two grew up in the same East Toledo neighborhood and have remained close. Janet babysits Alexander and Tricia’s other son, Andrew, 2. She also takes them to day care when needed.
“It’s been hard,” Janet says. “There are times she’s broken down and I’ve gotten a phone call, but we’ve managed so far…That’s what friends do, step up. I know she’d do it for me.”
Jacquie said her daughter has displayed a lot of resiliency in the past month.
Tricia says her hardships have been lightened by her family and friends. “There’re a lot of good people out there that are kind of shocking me right now. A lot of people are standing up and showing they’re with me.”
If you can’t make the Oct. 19 benefit, you can donate by mailing a check to Tricia Dorring, c/o The Pioneer Inn, 6751 Fremont Pike Rte. 20, Perrysburg, OH 43551, or call Jacquie at 419-837-2800.