Fundraiser to help Cheney woman awaiting transplant

Cheney, Wash., April 5, 2012 – Lorna Jarms is waiting for the phone call that will change her life. She needs a heart transplant, but the costs are overwhelming. Volunteers are planning a spaghetti dinner and auction to help.

In 1998, Jarms became ill with what she thought was a virus. After extensive testing, she was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure. Although doctors were able to treat her condition with medication for years, Jarms, 54, now needs a heart transplant to survive. In August 2009, she received a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which will act as a mechanical heart until she receives her transplant.

A heart transplant costs more than $750,000. Even with health coverage, Jarms faces significant medical expenses related to her transplant. For the rest of her life, she will require follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. These medications can cost up to $5,000 each month, and they are as critical to her survival as the transplant itself.

To help alleviate the financial burden, Jarms 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.

“It’s so difficult to battle such a frightening illness,” said Kay Horne, NFT fundraising consultant, “but Lorna has the added stress of mounting medical bills. At NFT, we’re helping Lorna and her volunteers fundraise so she can focus on her health without constantly worrying about the costs.”

Volunteers are planning a spaghetti dinner and silent auction Thursday, April 19 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Cheney High School, 450 N. 6th St. The event will take place in the cafeteria. Admission is a suggested donation of $5, but additional donations are encouraged and appreciated. Tickets can be purchased in advance and at the door.

For tickets or more information, please contact DeeAnn Gibb at 509-979-6130 or

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

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