Family movie night to help Rockledge man awaiting transplant

Merritt Island, Fla., June 1, 2012 – Darius Jones needs a lifesaving kidney transplant, but the costs are overwhelming. Volunteers are planning a family-friendly movie night to help with the soaring medical expenses.

In 2009, during a routine doctor’s visit, Jones, 47, learned he was suffering from end-stage renal disease. He was surprised to receive this diagnosis, as there is no history of kidney disease in his family. Doctors now say a kidney transplant is critical to his survival, and he was added to the transplant waiting list earlier this year.

Despite these challenges, Jones is a fighter and refuses to give up. He is thankful for his strong faith and the love and support of his wife, Sonia, three children and young grandchild, who mean the world to him. Jones hates that his declining health limits the amount of time he can spend with his family, but he looks forward to resuming his normal, active life after receiving his transplant.

The average kidney transplant costs approximately $250,000. And that’s only the beginning. Even with health coverage, he faces significant expenses related to the surgery. For the rest of his life, Jones will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. Post-transplant medications can be very costly, and they are as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.

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

“I hate to see Darius facing such frightening hardships,” said Lauren Wilmer, NFT fundraising consultant. “On top of his health concerns, he has the added pressure of mounting medical bills. At NFT, we are dedicated to helping Darius’s family raise the necessary funds so they can focus on his health without constantly worrying about the costs.”

Volunteers are planning a family movie night Saturday, June 16 at Destiny Christian Church, 700 S. Courtney Pkwy. in Merritt Island. The movie will begin at 7 p.m.; adult tickets are a suggested donation of $3 and tickets for children 17 and under are a suggested donation of $1.50. Hot dogs, drinks, chips, popcorn and candy will also be available for donations also.

For more information, please contact Destiny Christian Church at 321-453-4555 or

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

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. In the past 29 years, NFT has helped generate nearly $60 million to assist patients with their expenses.

NFT currently assists more than 2,500 transplant candidates and recipients nationwide. For more information about NFT, please call 800-489-3863 or visit