Comedy show to help Savannah drummer awaiting transplant

Savannah, Ga., March 22, 2012 – Savannah drummer Marc Cordray needs a transplant, but the costs are overwhelming. The Savannah Comedy Revue is donating profits from a comedy show to help raise funds.

Cordray’s health troubles began in 1999, when he was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy, a kidney disease where antibodies build up in the tissue, ultimately leading to his kidneys shutting down. Doctors say a kidney transplant is critical to his survival, and he’s on the national transplant waiting list. He requires daily home dialysis treatments as he awaits his transplant.

His passion is music, and following his dreams has allowed him to play more than 9,000 gigs, teach more than 1,000 students and perform on 10 albums and in 800 theater productions during his professional career as a drummer. Cordray, 49, is thankful he can still work as a professional musician. He looks forward to the lifesaving transplant that will give him more energy to continue making music.

A kidney transplant costs approximately $250,000. Even with health coverage, Cordray faces significant expenses related to his transplant. For the rest of his life, he will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. His post-transplant medications can be very costly, and they are as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.

When he receives his transplant, he must temporarily relocate 130 miles from his home to be near the transplant center for at least a month during recovery, incurring substantial travel and lodging expenses.

To help offset these expenses, Cordray turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance. NFT is a nonprofit organization that helps patients raise funds to pay for transplant-related expenses.

The Savannah Comedy Revue at the Bay Street Theatre, 1 Jefferson St., has a regular comedy show the first Friday of each month. On Friday, April 6 at 8 p.m., the show will help support Cordray. “A View from the Cheap Seats” will feature a variety of stand-up comedians, including headliner Al Ernst, creator of E Man Nation, known for the carefree style that makes others refer to him as “the Jimmy Buffett of funny.” Antonio Scott, winner of the Savannah Comedy Revue Comedy Contest, will open the show, and Opie Cooper will also perform.
Admission is $9. Proceeds will be donated to NFT in Cordray’s honor. Additionally, volunteers will collect donations at the door. Attendees must be 21 or older, and drinks will be available for purchase at the bar.

Paris is one of many Savannah community members to spearhead fundraising efforts for Cordray.

“It’s easy to feel isolated and overwhelmed when facing any type of disease,” said Cordray’s wife, Dawn. “Marc has reached out and volunteered in the community for almost two decades, and now Savannah is more than giving back. I couldn’t possibly be more proud of this town, and we especially want to thank Tom, Jam Spillane, Jere Myers from Jerry’s Antiques, Paul Miller from Vinnie Van Go Go’s and Caroline Verner from Caroline V Designs. They’ve all truly gone above and beyond to show their support.”

For questions or more information, please contact Tom Paris at savannahcomedyrevue@gmail.com or 314-503-9005.

“Humor has helped me keep a good outlook throughout this whole journey,” said Cordray, “so if everyone gets a night of laughs while we raise awareness about kidney disease, that’s a win-win situation.”

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

About Savannah Comedy Revue
The Savannah Comedy Revue is Savannah’s premier comedy venue, headlining national and regional comedians on the first Friday of every month. Located inside the Bay Street Theatre in Savannah’s historic city market, it is the only comedy club in Savannah.

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 www.transplants.org.

###