Dine out to help Cape Coral man with transplant costs

Cape Coral, Fla., Apr. 2, 2012 – Rod Partington is fighting for his life. He needs a bone marrow transplant, but the costs are overwhelming. A local restaurant is chipping in to help raise funds.

In 2011, he suffered from pneumonia and pericarditis, a condition that caused inflammation in the sac around his heart. A few months later, he suffered from a nosebleed that just wouldn’t stop, and he knew something more serious was happening. After multiples tests and blood work, Partington, 54, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

Doctors say a bone marrow transplant is critical to his survival, and he is currently undergoing chemotherapy to prepare his body for the transplant. His siblings are being tested to see if one of them could be the perfect donor match to save their brother’s life.

Despite these challenges, Partington feels blessed to have a strong support system, including his wife Charlotte, his daughter, step-children and three granddaughters. He hates that they worry so much about his health, and he looks forward to resuming his normal, active lifestyle. He’s grateful that he’s still able to enjoy his two passions of photography and playing the guitar, and he plans to continue working to support his family as long as he is able. Once he beats cancer, he wants to help others who are facing the same challenges. More than anything, he dreams of holding his unborn grandson in his arms and hopes to spend many more years watching all his young grandchildren grow up.

A bone marrow transplant costs approximately $800,000. Even with health coverage, Partington faces significant expenses related to the surgery. He will need medication and follow-up care to ensure that his body accepts the new bone marrow.

When he receives his transplant, the Partingtons must temporarily relocate nearly 150 miles from their home to be near the transplant center during recovery, incurring substantial travel expenses.

To help offset these expenses, Partington 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.

“My heart goes out to Rod,” said Lauren Wilmer, NFT fundraising consultant. “It’s already extremely difficult to face a serious illness, but he has the added stress of mounting medical bills. At NFT, we’re dedicated to helping Rod and Charlotte raise the necessary funds so they can focus on his health without constantly worrying about the expenses.”

Community members are encouraged to dine at Stevie Tomatoes, 814 SW Pine Island Rd. on Saturday, April 7 between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. During this time, the restaurant will donate a percentage of sales to help with Partington’s expenses.

For questions or more information, please contact Arlie Won at arlo9311@yahoo.com or 239-443-7169.

To make a tax-deductible gift in honor of Partington, 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 Ron Partington” 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 Partington.

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.