On July 6, she underwent the double organ kidney and pancreas transplant she needed to improve her life and prevent more health complications resulting from juvenile diabetes.
Joleen was born and raised in Larchwood, IA, to Joe and Veron (Snyders) Scholten. She is one of 14 children. She attended St. Mary's School until sixth grade and graduated in 1981 from West Lyon High School, Inwood, IA. Joleen graduated from Briar Cliff College, Sioux City, IA, in May, 1985, with a major in accounting.
Joleen was diagnosed with diabetes in 1976 at the age of 13. Since that time, she has been totally dependent upon insulin injections three to five times daily, and has experienced serious side effects that threaten her life.
She married Duane Bos, a friend since childhood, from Alvord, IA, and became a mother even though the pregnancy was difficult and caused further long-term health complications. Joleen and Duane's tremendous joy at the birth of their son, Alan, was only overshadowed by the fact that he would be an only child.
Throughout her adult life, Joleen has always been very active in her community and St. Agnes Church in Vermillion. She works full time as a computer programmer at The University of South Dakota Information Technology Services Department, even though it is often difficult for her to do things others take for granted.
Stability of her insulin levels was very difficult to maintain even under close medical supervision. Jolene's health concerns continued to escalate to the point her kidneys were showing signs of failure in 1987 and other organs, such as her heart, were being affected. It was a month long and very challenging process to be placed on the national donor list.
Once Joleen's name was on the list, it was a miracle that shortly after that, a perfect kidney and pancreas match became available. During the night of July 5, she received a phone call from the transplant coordinator. Within hours, she was hospitalized and prepared for surgery, which took place at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Leid Transplant Center in Omaha, NE.
The double transplant surgery lasted seven hours and from there she went into ICU for another 76 hours. Her initial hospital stay was 13 days, but her recovery is ongoing and a few setbacks have occurred requiring additional hospitalizations.
Her spirits are good and so far there are no signs of rejection. The next year will involve close extensive medical monitoring, numerous trips to Leid Transplant Center in Omaha for monthly clinicals, and an extraordinary number of medications to counteract rejection and infection.
Joleen has found herself in a giving community, Vermillion, that wants to help with some of the expenses, medical costs, and loss of income they have experienced. Family and friends are sponsoring a benefit for Joleen on Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Eagle's, 114 W. Main Street, Vermillion. The benefit will consist of a free will supper starting at 5 p.m., an auction at 6:30 p.m., and a dance to follow the auction.
Matching funds are coming in from Modern Woodmen of Americas-Camp 2480 – Cathy Lynch-District Representative. The Jaycees of Vermillion have donated to Joleen from their fund raiser this past Labor Day. An account has been set up, at First Bank and Trust, 20 East Main, P.O. Box 276, Vermillion, SD, 57069, for cash donations.
For more information on how to donate items to the auction or to make a cash donation you may contact Pam Ganschow, 605-267-2607 or Jean or Gary Groves, 605-624-2400. Come out for a delicious supper, shopping spree, great entertainment and be a part of the gift of giving.