Abilene man battling rare illness

Abilene, Texas, June, 22, 2012 – Raymond Ferguson is fighting for his life. He was diagnosed with a very rare disease that has damaged his kidneys, and doctors say a lifesaving kidney transplant is necessary.

In 2011, after battling what he thought was a sinus infection that wouldn't go away, his doctor sent him to the hospital for additional tests. Soon after, Ferguson, 52, was diagnosed with Goodpasture syndrome, a rare disease that caused his kidneys to rapidly deteriorate. He immediately began undergoing dialysis treatments in hopes of saving his kidneys, but doctors say a kidney transplant is critical to his survival.
The average kidney transplant costs approximately $250,000. Even with health coverage, he faces considerable medical expenses, and his out-of-pocket expenses are expected to reach $30,000. For the rest of his life, he will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications, which are very expensive.

When he receives his transplant, Ferguson must temporarily relocate 200 miles from his home to be near the hospital during recovery, incurring substantial relocation expenses. After being a truck driver for 25 years, it was difficult for him to stop working because of his declining health. He hopes to return to his job as soon as he is able, which will offer some relief from the growing financial strain.
To help alleviate the financial burden, the Fergusons 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 breaks my heart to see transplant patients so overwhelmed by the enormous expenses,” said Kay Horne, NFT fundraising consultant. “I know that Raymond wants nothing more than to live a healthy, active life with his wife, Kathleen, and their children and grandchildren. At NFT, we’re dedicated to helping the family raise the necessary funds so they can focus on Raymond’s health instead of the expenses.”

Family and friends are holding a yard sale on Saturday, June 30 at 7:30 a.m. at 3110 S. 19th St. in Abilene. For more information about the fundraiser, please contact Kathleen Ferguson at mickiferguson@sbcglobal.net or 325-864-0009 or Kim Hernandez at 325-829-2285.

To make a tax-deductible donation in honor of Ferguson, please send a contribution to the NFT Texas Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write “in honor of Raymond Ferguson” on the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online at www.transplants.org--select “Find an NFT Patient” to locate Ferguson.

About NFT
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 nearly $60 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.