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Fundraiser for local transplant patient

AULANDER – Ahoskie resident Patricia Watford is thankful for a second chance at life. When she was only 7-years-old, she was diagnosed with diabetes. Although she lived a relatively normal childhood, the disease caused significant damage to her body.

By the time she was 30, her kidneys had begun to fail, and she began enduring regular dialysis treatments. She even lost her eyesight for a short period as a result of the kidney damage. Doctors said a kidney/pancreas transplant was necessary, and 20 years ago she received a lifesaving transplant.

For many years, Patricia was able to live life to the fullest. However, her health recently began to decline and she learned that she had developed pancreatitis in her transplanted pancreas. Doctors had to remove it, and told her that it was too dangerous to attempt another transplant at this time. Once Patricia’s health stabilizes, she hopes to be placed on the transplant waiting list for a new pancreas 

The average kidney/pancreas transplant costs approximately $650,000. And, that’s only the beginning. Even with insurance, she still faces significant expenses. For the rest of her life, she will need follow-up care and anti-rejection medications. Post-transplant medications are very expensive, and they’re as critical to her survival as the transplant itself.

For fundraising support and guidance, Watford turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance with some of these financial burdens. NFT is a nonprofit organization that helps patients raise funds to pay for transplant-related expenses.

“It’s wonderful to see such a strong support system helping Patricia through this,” said Claire Prince, NFT fundraising consultant. “I know she wants nothing more than to be healthy and active again, and at NFT, we’re dedicated to helping her raise the funds she needs to afford her lifesaving treatment and care.”

On March 10 at 4 p.m., volunteers will present a play entitled The Old Ship of Zion at the Greater Harvest Fellowship COGIC, located at 1301 NC Hwy 561 in Aulander. There is no charge to attend, but donations are encouraged. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Event proceeds will go to the National Foundation for Transplants in Watford’s honor.

If you’re unable to attend and wish to make a tax-deductible donation in honor of Watford, please send a contribution to the NFT North Carolina Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 850, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write “in honor of Patricia Watford” on the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online at www.transplants.org. Donors should click on “Find an NFT Patient” to locate Watford.

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 to transplant patients by organizing fundraising campaigns in the patients’ own communities. NFT’s fundraising campaigns have generated more than $82 million to assist patients. In the past year, NFT has served 2,100 transplant patients and assisted more than 4,200 individuals and community partners. For more information about NFT, please call 800-489-3863 or visit www.transplants.org.