Debbie’s Dialysis Fund Rallies are seven day cruises:
Next cruise is scheduled for Dec. 3-10 out of Tampa Florida.
To view available HIGH SEAS RALLIES, see the website: www.highseasrally.com
In 2003, we announced our dialysis patient charity idea at our first Annual High Seas Rally. Response was overwhelming. 805 rally participants contributed $8,270.00 to help meet the contracted price of the dialysis treatment company. We (Dean and Debbie) paid the balance of $10,000. That amount only paid for the service, it did not pay for the treatments which cost, $ 495.00 per visit, with usually 3 treatments per week, per patient. This also did not cover the cost of the cabins, which are $2,500 each that year or their airfare/travel expenses.
Most insurance companies will reimburse the dialysis patient after the cruise, but the patient has to pay the total cost of the treatments upfront. However, we were stunned to discover that uninsured military vets and Medicare patients didn’t qualify for reimbursement through the Veterans Administration or Medicare for receiving the very same treatments they would receive at their home dialysis treatment centers. We couldn’t stand for that…Plan B.
At our 2004 Western Caribbean Rally our 1367 rally participants contributed $31,771.00. Enough to pay for the dialysis staff, equipment rental, etc. ($10,000) plus treatments for all 14 dialysis patients and half the cost of their balcony cabins of which we absorbed. No more worries about insurance hassles for the most needy patients that could not afford to come. There was still the travel expenses.
In 2005 our Alaska rally passengers donated over $16,000 to our Dialysis fund and our Western Caribbean passengers donated over $68,000 toward helping make our Dialysis patients vacations a reality. Again,HSR made up the balance. Which was considerable in Alaska.
In 2006 our Alaska rally passengers donated another $18,084.82 to our fund for our 2007 patients. We, Dean and Debbie, kicked in the extra and paid for there cabins.
On our 2006 Western Caribbean Rally 1500 passengers entered the rally games and most generously donated back to the fund a portion of their cash winnings. We raised over $110,000 for the kidney dialysis fund. Now we could also pay for their airfare from anywhere in the U.S. or Canada plus give each dialysis passenger $400 spending money during the cruise.
During our 2007 Western Caribbean Rally: With nearly 1,750 rally passengers aboard our 5th Anniversary Cruise, we raised a phenomenal $182,895 for the Kidney Dialysis Fund from Poker Walk, 50/50, Tattoo Contest, (10) Raffle Cabins, HOHS Auction, Bike Raffle, and generous cash winners that gave money back. That’s an average of over $100 per passenger. This was all raised from games, raffles, auctions, and donations from passenger cash winnings. It also doesn’t hurt that during those events our passengers had great odds of winning over $302,000 in cash and prizes but it is very important to us that they see just exactly where the money is going. Since we are adding a 2nd rally to our yearly schedule, this was exactly what we needed because it costs approximately $60,000 to provide this service alone to another 14 dialysis patients during the additional rally. Doing good can be contagious, especially if you get to see the good it does and have FUN doing it!
1st Annual 2008 Mexican Riviera Rally Update: We had 1,000 rally passengers! A total of $90,608.00 raised was for the HOHS Dialysis Fund and gave some West Coast dialysis patients a shorter distance to travel for the vacation of a lifetime! Still short of what was needed but we (Dean and Debbie) kicked in the extra.
2008 Western Caribbean Rally had 1,565 passengers on-board that raised $120,339.48 and gave our largest dialysis group yet (16) another great vacation. We are now getting very close to making this a totally FREE dialysis patient and CARETAKER cruise.
2009 and 2010 cruises Western Caribbean rally cruises averaged over $150,000 each
2010 Alaska rally cruise raised $64,660 with 16 dialysis patients onboard.
2011 Western Caribbean cruise raised a record $172,989 with 13 dialysis patients attending. Sadly 3 didn’t make the cruise due to a crippling East Coast storm. Looks as though we may be able to pay for the patients caretaker to come along next year!
2012 Western Caribbean cruise was one for the record books. Over $300,000.00 raised for the dialysis Fund, over $500,000.00 in cash and prizes to the game winners. Now we can pay for the caregivers cost of the cabin and their airfare. Sadly, Debbie, the founder of the Dialysis Dialysis Fund (Dean’s wife of 40 years) and co-owner of High Seas Rally passed away the 2nd day on the cruise due to cancer complications. Debbie’s goal finally accomplished. The HOHS Dialysis Fund name has been changed in honor of Debbie. It’s new name is Debbie’s Dialysis Fund.
2013 brought with it a Maiden Voyage for Debbie’s Dialysis Fund and the High Seas Rally traveled to the Eastern Caribbean this year. This trip brought new sights to see and new places to enjoy. With approximately 1,800 rally passengers on board we raise a total of $356,660.01 for Debbie’s Dialysis Fund (formerly HOHS Dialysis Fund – renamed in honor of Debbie). There were 17 dialysis patients from across the U.S. that enjoyed a vacation of a lifetime and cruising with the High Seas Rally. None of this would be possible without the generosity of our crewmembers!!
2014. Dean (Debbie’s husband for 40 years and co-owner) gets a kidney transplant just 3 months before the cruise sets sail. All office help quits and Susan Kieffer, Dean’s now girlfriend (a 2 time HSR cruiser) steps in to save both Dean and the HSR rally. All goes well on the cruise with Dean very medicated and against doctors advice. We raised over $200,000 this cruise for the dialysis fund.
2015. Dean announces he will take 2016 off to make sure all is good with his new kidney before announcing the High Seas Rally return in 2017.
2017. The High Seas Rally was back to the Western Caribbean with 2152 passengers and a FULL SHIP charter leaving from Tampa this time with a custom itinerary. With 10 dialysis patients, raising over $250,000 and paying all patients and their caretakers costs from the time they left home till the time they returned and $500 spending money.
Skipping 2018 to evaluate how the rally, Dean’s new kidney and the dialysis fund can continue in the long run due to continued cost increases from the company providing the on ship dialysis treatments and Dean now nearing 65.
2019. Full ship charter once again with 10 dialysis patients sailing Dec. 7, out of Tampa again. We raise over $248,500 with 1,650 passengers, brought 9 dialysis patients ( 1 passed just before the cruise) and their caretakers and give each patient $500 in spending money. Cruise turned out great.
With just 2 people running the entire High Seas Rally and Debbie’s Dialysis Fund and knowing it would be a disaster if something happened to either Dean or Susan, Dean decides to sell the High Seas Rally to Entertainment Cruise Productions. No decision as of yet on Debbie’s Dialysis Fund future.