2012-03-09 / Front Page

Eastover resident needs help from community

Contributed by NFT

Alton Cooper, 36, is waiting for the phone call that will change his life. He needs a kidney transplant, but the costs are overwhelming. Volunteers are planning a fundraiser to help.

In 2005, Cooper was diagnosed with high blood pressure. Now, Cooper’s kidneys are failing, and doctors say a kidney transplant is critical to his survival. While awaiting his lifesaving transplant, he endures dialysis treatments three times a week, which take a toll on his quality of life.

A kidney transplant costs approximately $250,000. Even with health coverage, Cooper faces significant expenses related to his transplant. For the rest of his life, he will need followup care and daily anti-rejection medications. The cost of his post-transplant medications can range from $2,000 to $5,000 per month, and they are as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.

When he receives his transplant, Cooper must travel more than 100 miles from his home to be near the transplant center for the surgery and recovery, incurring substantial travel expenses. His declining health prevents him from working, adding to the financial strain.

To overcome these financial challenges, Cooper turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance. NFT is a nonprofit organization that helps transplant patients raise funds to pay for medical expenses.

“Fighting a life-threatening illness is difficult in itself,” said Lauren Wilmer, NFT fundraising consultant. “but Alton has the added stress of mounting medical bills. At NFT, we’re dedicated to helping him raise the necessary funds so he can focus on his health without constantly worrying about the costs.”

Volunteers are planning an activity-filled fundraiser Saturday, March 10 from 9 a.m. to noon at Eastover Town Hall. The event will include a walk-a-thon, car wash, and bake sale. There is no admission fee, but donations to help Cooper are strongly encouraged.

For more information, please contact Beatrice Long at 803-353-8476 or beatricelong1@bellsouth.net.

To make donations in honor of Cooper, please visit www.transplants.org and click on “Patients We Help” to search for him. If you prefer to mail your contribution, please send your gift to the NFT South Carolina Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Avenue, Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Be sure to write “in honor of Alton Cooper” in the subject line.

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