Eat wings, raise funds to help local double-lung transplant recipient

Hillsboro, Ore., Dec. 2, 2014 – During this holiday season—a time when so many reflect on the special things in their lives—Colleen Leal, of Aloha, is grateful for a pretty incredible gift.

In September, she received a lifesaving double-lung transplant. A gift she’d been waiting on for more than a year.

In 2008, she began experiencing a nagging cough. Although doctors originally thought she was suffering from environmental allergies, additional testing led to a diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis.

The average double-lung transplant costs approximately $800,000. Even with health insurance, which will cover the cost of the transplant itself, she still faces significant medical expenses related to the surgery. She will need a lifetime of follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications.

To help alleviate the financial burden, Leal 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.

“Of course, I’m thrilled that Colleen received her lifesaving transplant,” said Kay Horne, NFT fundraising consultant. “Can you imagine struggling for every breath? I know that was so difficult, and everyone at NFT is overjoyed that she’s recovering well. We want to help her raise the funds she needs so she can focus on her health and her recovery, not the bills that will come along with it.”

Wednesday, Dec. 10 the Hillsboro Buffalo Wild Wings, 2219 NW Allie Ave., will donate 15 percent* of its sales to NFT in Leal’s honor.

*Patrons must present an “Admit One” ticket for their food and non-alcoholic beverage purchases to go toward Leal’s fundraiser.

For more information or to obtain a ticket, please contact John Hesselgrave at 503-319-4164 or

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

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 $70 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