Twins need $60,000 more for brain surgery as KanCare, ACA fall through
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Basehor Blake and Lance Tranckino’s birthday, April 30, is approaching quickly, and a required reconstructive brain surgery must happen before they turn a year old.
Their father, Vic Tranckino, said doctors recommend the surgery be done between 10 months to one year after birth. At 2 months old, the twins were diagnosed with craniosynostosis, a birth defect in which joints between bones in a baby’s skull close prematurely. That prevents the child’s brain from growing properly. The fused bones must be separated in surgery.
The family has scheduled a surgery for April 25, but doctors and the family worry the date is too close to the twins’ birthday. Tranckino said they are working with doctors to move the date up to April 2.
“They’re right at 10 months right now,” Tranckino said. “We’d like to bump the date up.”
On Saturday, a fundraiser for Blake and Lance in Tonganoxie raised more than $10,000 for the Basehor twins and adds to the family’s new goal of raising $80,000 to be able to afford the surgery.
“It was awesome,” Tranckino said of the event.
Insurance companies have denied the family's claims for aid, Tranckino said, but a hospital in Dallas is working with them to lower the cost of the operation. The family’s previous goal was to raise $100,000.
The event at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds in Tonganoxie, organized by Travis Wilson, included a swap meet and car corral while arts and crafts, business and food vendors sold items. The Basehor VFW Post 11499 served food at the event and raised $500. Post Commander Phil Jenkins siad the post is donating the entire $500 to the family.
“We were asked several week ago to help out, and we absolutely wanted to,” Jenkins said.
All of the proceeds will help with Blake and Lance’s medical bills. The specific surgery is not covered under the family’s plan through KanCare. Blake and Lance’s parents are Tranckino and Karla Holton of Basehor.
The brothers are each in the 80th percentile in size and height, their mother told The Tonganoxie Mirror in January, and were otherwise healthy when they were born nearly one year ago. But in order to keep growing at a normal rate, the twins need the reconstructive surgery.
“It’s not elective,” Holton explained. “Not cosmetic. It’s mandatory.”
The couple joined KanCare, the program through which the state administers Medicaid, last July. Holton worked as a nurse at an orthopedics office, but opted to become a stay-at-home mother to care for her children, which left the family without insurance coverage through her job.
Children’s Mercy Hospital and Kansas University Hospital provide a form of the surgery, Holton explained, but the Dallas specialist does the procedure twice a day. Surgery in Texas would be more invasive, which Holton said could better detect any other health issues beneath the skull. KanCare would only cover procedures at Children’s Mercy or KU.
Legislators in January urged the family to explore other insurance options through the Affordable Care Act, but those efforts have been denied, according to Tranckino.
Online donations can be made at youcaring.com/BLAKELANCE or at any First State Bank and Trust location. The website says the family has raised about $7,000, excluding the money raised this weekend in Tonganoxie.