Here are three reasons why a family chooses to do fundraising for a transplant:
- Wait times for organs. With more than 113,000 people currently on the national organ waiting list, many transplant centers require a family to prove their financial ability to pay for the associated costs.
- Medical and non-medical Costs. While transplant procedure costs can range from $250,000 to $800,000, there are significant expenses families will face including medications, multiple doctor visits, regular lab work and medical tests, transportation, lodging, loss of income, child care for siblings and more.
- Lifetime of medical care. Depending on their age at the time of transplant, some children will require additional organ transplants as they grow and age. Anti-rejection medications may be required for a transplant recipient’s lifetime at a cost of several thousand dollars a month.
“We were struggling with doctors’ appointments and tests and medications … and so many bills. [Fundraising] has made our entire transplant journey less stressful by taking away the fear of how we were ever going to pay for the bills and has allowed us to start thinking about our family’s post-transplant future,” said Cindia Maldonado of Dumas, Texas. Her son, Damian, received a liver transplant hundreds of miles away from their home.
Many insurance providers require a family to pay an annual deductible that can exceed $10,000 and require a copayment for each visit to the doctor, clinic or for individual medical tests. No plan pays all transplant-related expenses; many insurance plans only cover 80 percent of the ‘normal and customary’ expenses.
Fundraising for transplant-related expenses eliminates a significant stress for families and allows them to focus on their child’s medical and emotional needs. The Children’s Organ Transplant Association’s priority is to assure that no child or young adult is denied a transplant, or excluded from a transplant waiting list, due to lack of funds.
Rick Lofgren, President and CEO, Children’s Organ Transplant Association, [email protected]