California Pizza Kitchen to help local transplant patient

Jacksonville, Fla., Nov. 13, 2014 – Jacksonville’s local California Pizza Kitchen is doing its part to help a local transplant patient raise funds to offset her overwhelming medical expenses.

Sylvia Upton McMillan, of Jacksonville, was born with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), but it wasn’t until she underwent surgery for a cerebral aneurysm that her kidneys began to fail.

After several hospitalizations for serious medical problems, McMillan’s kidneys had to be removed, and now she desperately needs a kidney transplant. McMillan, 60, endures rigorous dialysis treatments three times a week while awaiting a new kidney.

The average kidney transplant costs approximately $250,000. And that’s just the beginning. Even with health insurance, which will cover a portion of the transplant costs, she still faces a lifetime of medical expenses related to the surgery. These medications are very costly, and they are as important to her survival as the transplant itself.

For fundraising support and guidance, McMillan 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 hopeful Sylvia receives her transplant soon,” said Samantha Palazolo, NFT fundraising consultant. “I know the wait can be so overwhelming, especially when facing such daunting expenses. At NFT, we’re here to help her raise the funds she needs so she can spend more quality time with her loved ones without having to stress over medical expenses.”

Friday, Nov. 21, California Pizza Kitchen, 4712 River City Dr. in the St. Johns Town Center, will donate a percentage of its profits* to NFT in McMillan’s honor.

*For patrons’ proceeds to help with this fundraiser, a flyer must be presented to their servers.

For more information, or to obtain an event flyer, contact Sylvia McMillan at or (904) 608-8405; Jeaneva Balcar at or (904) 563-3439; Dr. Alzic Upton at; or Debra Drummond at or (904) 708-5716.

To make a tax-deductible donation in honor of McMillan, please send a contribution to the NFT Florida Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write “in honor of Sylvia McMillan” on the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online at Donors should click on “Find an NFT Patient” to locate McMillan.

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 and advocacy 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