Healthy Living

Blalock Lakes event to honor transplant recipient

A sporting clays fundraiser will be held Aug. 16 at the Blalock Lakes course south of Newnan in honor of a kidney transplant recipient.

As a childhood cancer survivor, Jennifer Maxwell Schmidt, of Atlanta, underwent radiation as part of her treatment. Over the years this damaged her ureters and kidneys, even resulting in her right kidney being removed in 2009.

Later Schmidt, 36, was diagnosed with stage-5 end-stage renal disease and started dialysis. After her left kidney was removed, doctors said a kidney transplant was essential to her survival. She received the lifesaving transplant last year – on Aug. 7, 2013.

While transplant was a success, the surgery brought forth significant medical complications. What typically leads to a 4-5 day hospital stay resulted in a month-long stay due to the need for a bowel resection. Now, Schmidt's kidney is fighting hard to work despite reflux from her bladder as well as a stricture in her small bowel.

The average kidney transplant costs approximately $250,000. Even with health insurance, which covered the cost of the transplant itself, she still faces significant medical expenses related to the surgery and numerous medical complications. She will need a lifetime of follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. These medications are very costly, and they’re as important to her survival as the transplant itself.

To help alleviate the financial burden, Schmidt 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.

“I’m so happy that Jennifer received her transplant,” said Samantha Palazolo, NFT fundraising consultant. “But many people don’t realize the complications that can come forth after a serious surgery, not to mention the lifelong medical expenses associated with keeping the new organ healthy. At NFT, we want to help her raise the funds she needs to afford her life-saving treatment.”

On Saturday, Aug. 16, volunteers are holding a sporting clays fundraiser at Blalock Lakes, 4075 New Corinth Rd., south of Newnan. Entry fee is $125 per person, and it is $25 to attend as a spectator. Corporate sponsorships are available for $250. Top teams will win prizes. Participants should make reservations by Aug. 8.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided, and there will be a raffle and auction.

For more information, please contact Shane Lyle at 404-787-7604 or slyle@strathmorefloors.com.

To make a tax-deductible donation in honor of Schmidt, send a contribution to the NFT Florida Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Write “in honor of Jennifer Maxwell Schmidt” 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 Schmidt.

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. NFT’s fundraising campaigns have generated nearly $70 million to assist patients.

NFT assists more than 2,500 transplant candidates and recipients nationwide. For more information about NFT, please call 800-489-3863 or visit www.transplants.org .



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