Canoe trip fundraiser in honor of local transplant patient

Tionesta, Penn., July 19, 2016 – In late 2015, Gail Sullivan, of Pleasantville, began experiencing chills and symptoms of a stomach bug. She lost 10 to 15 pounds, and her daughter, Sara, insisted that she see a doctor. 

After visits with three different doctors and a battery of tests, Sullivan, 63, was diagnosed with a life-threatening liver disease. Doctors say a liver transplant is critical to her survival.

Sadly, Sullivan currently has no health insurance, and before she can began evaluations to be added to the transplant waiting list, she must begin fundraising to prove she can afford the surgery and post-transplant medications.

The average liver transplant costs approximately $575,000. And that’s only the beginning, as she faces significant expenses related to the surgery. For the rest of her life, she will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications, which are as critical to her survival as the transplant itself.

For fundraising support, Sullivan turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance with some of these financial burdens. NFT is a nonprofit organization based in Memphis, Tenn. that helps patients offset their transplant-related expenses through their community-based fundraising program.

“I know this is such an overwhelming time for Gail and her family,” said Claire Prince, NFT fundraising consultant. “I’m thankful that she has such a wonderful support system in her husband and daughter, and I’m hopeful she’ll receive her transplant soon. At NFT, we want to help her raise the funds she needs to afford her lifesaving care.”

Before Sullivan’s health began to decline, she and Sara used to take a canoe trip on the Allegheny River each year, and she dreams of doing that again someday. Although such a trip is currently not feasible for Sullivan, her family is organizing a fundraising canoe trip in her honor to help offset her expenses.

Sunday, Aug. 7, for $50 per canoe, supporters can join in the fun. The event will begin at noon at the Eagle Rock Motel, 633 Elm St. in Tionesta. The fee includes pizza, chips and soda.There will also be a prize given to the largest group to participate.

For more information or to register, please contact Sara Sullivan at 814-758-9271. Registration deadline is Aug. 1.

To make a tax-deductible donation in honor of Sullivan, please send a contribution to the NFT Pennsylvania Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write “in honor of Gail Sullivan” on the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online.

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 $75 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