April is Donate Life Month, an opportunity to recognize and celebrate how organ donors and transplants have made a difference for families facing a medical crisis. Since April 2015, 167 HelpHOPELive clients have received life-altering transplants. Here are just a few of their stories.
A Transplant Can Change Your Life…
Terry, one month post-transplant: “To watch a man, a Marine Corps veteran, who has been robust and active all his life, become tired and sick and age overnight due to failing kidneys was torture for those who know and love him. Now, however, to watch that same man laugh and smile again less than 12 hours after receiving the amazing gift of renewed life through his daughter’s donated kidney is beyond words.”
Terry with his faithful friend
Deanna, two years post-transplant: “Deanna celebrated two years post liver transplant this past Saturday. Every day I look at her and think, “Wow, little girl, you are a miracle.””
Deanna proudly represents the gift of life
Emily, one month post-transplant: “Multiple family members, church friends and former classmates called to be tested for Emily, but her donor ended up being a near stranger–someone she had only worked with for a month when the donor discovered Emily’s need and said it was always a dream to donate a kidney. The two are no longer strangers!”
Emily with her “reasons to live!”
Rick, seven months post-transplant: “I’ve got a new lease on life now. I can look forward to seeing my family and my grandkids again. I have realized that I can do this and I see the light at the end of the tunnel…there’s a lot more hope than there used to be.”
Rick’s gift of life
Rachelle, 10 months post-transplant: “Today was my last day of chemo! Wednesday I celebrate my new stem cell birthday!!! Thanks for helping us get our life back!”
Dudley: “I had a successful kidney transplant on March 3,2016. I could not have done it without your support and generous donations. I hope to…return to life with my new kidney, which has given me a new lease on life.”
Dudley (left) with his donor
Amy, one year post-transplant: “I feel outstanding! No longer need supplemental oxygen or a wheelchair! I am getting my life back!! Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart!!! Every breath is a gift.”
Amy received “a perfect new set of lungs!”
…But A Transplant Can Also Be Financially Devastating
A transplant is not a fix-all solution. Life post-transplant may include unexpected out-of-pocket expenses and additional medical and financial concerns:
“My employer’s leave of absence gives me…12 weeks [but] I am due to be out for three months. It looks like I will be out for 6 weeks unpaid.”
“It’s been over 3 months and she’s just now NOT feeling awful. Now her function and counts are improving so we again have hope she will have some normalcy soon.”
“I am still unable to work and expect to be in financial dire straits for the next year.”
“We were not prepared for the post-transplant care expenses. That has taken a financial toll on our family. Some things you have to take into account are lodging, rent or mortgage payments while you relocate, meals, gas, airfare, and lab and biopsy expenses, which are ongoing, frequent and costly.”
“Thirty-six months after my transplant date, Medicare will terminate my coverage and I will be fully responsible for all transplant-related medical expenses for the rest of my life. The expensive anti-rejection medications that I have to take for my lifetime are out-of-pocket expenses that will cost be hundreds or thousands every month.”
Fundraising Can Make A Difference!
A transplant is not the end of the journey. After a transplant, families may face a lifelong list of out-of-pocket medical expenses. That’s why HelpHOPElive is here to help transplant recipients and their families fundraise for a lifetime of transplant-related expenses, from immunosuppressant medications to follow-up medical visits and emergency care.
This video highlights how fundraising with HelpHOPELive can impact an individual’s life before, during and after a transplant. Visit helphopelive.org today to start or re-ignite a transplant fundraising campaign.