transplant, and volunteers are planning a pancake breakfast to help
with the expenses.
In 2004, deBruin first noticed troubling symptoms, such as redness and
swelling in her hands. She saw a rheumatologist and was later
diagnosed with systemic scleroderma, an autoimmune disease causing her
immune system to attack her body, especially her lungs. Doctors say a
lung transplant is her only hope.
A lung transplant costs approximately $450,000. Even with health
insurance, deBruin faces significant medical expenses. For the rest of
her life, she will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection
medications. The cost of post-transplant medications can range from
$2,000 to $5,000 per month, and they are as critical to her survival
as the transplant itself.
Once she receives her transplant, she must temporarily relocate more
than 200 miles from her home to be closer to the transplant center in
Pittsburgh, adding to her financial strain.
To overcome these financial challenges, deBruin turned to the National
Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance. NFT is a nonprofit
organization that helps transplant patients raise funds to pay for
Friends and family are planning a pancake breakfast, Saturday, May 22
from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at David Baptist Church, 2300 David Baptist
Church Rd. Admission is a suggested donation of $6.
For more information, please call 704-300-9989.
To make a donation in honor of deBruin, please mail a tax-deductible
gift to the NFT Delaware Lung Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430,
Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write "in honor of Terri deBruin"
in the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online at www.transplants.org
. Donors should click on "Patients We Help" to locate deBruin.
NFT is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Memphis, Tenn. that
has been helping transplant patients overcome financial obstacles
since 1983. NFT provides fundraising expertise and advocacy to
transplant patients by organizing fundraising campaigns in the
patients' own communities. In the past 27 years, NFT has helped
generate more than $56 million to assist patients with their expenses.
NFT currently assists more than 1,000 transplant candidates and
recipients nationwide. For more information about NFT, please call
800-489-3863 or visit www.transplants.org.