Fundraiser to help local kidney transplant patient

Sanibel, Fla., April 16, 2012– Kenny Cox is waiting for the phone call that will change his life. He needs a kidney transplant, but the costs are overwhelming. Volunteers are planning a fundraiser to help offset his expenses.

In the mid-90s, Cox was diagnosed with renal reflux, which has caused irreversible damage to his kidneys. His left kidney currently only functions at 20 percent, and his right kidney has completely failed. Doctors say a kidney transplant is critical to his survival.

Despite his health challenges, Cox, 46, is very optimistic and focuses on the positive things in his life, such as his girlfriend and his family and friends. He is surrounded by a strong support system of loved ones who will undergo testing to see if they are suitable kidney donors, and he’s very grateful. A painter and musician, Cox loves using his artistic abilities and spending time outdoors camping. He hopes to resume his normal lifestyle once he receives his new kidney.

A kidney transplant costs approximately $250,000. Even with health insurance, Cox faces significant medical expenses related to his transplant. For the rest of his life, he will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. The cost of post-transplant medications can range from $2,000 to $5,000 per month, and they are as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.

To overcome these financial challenges, Cox 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.

“Kenny has battled health complications for years,” said Lauren Wilmer, NFT fundraising consultant, “but he manages to maintain a good attitude, and he’s an inspiration to many. At NFT, we’re helping Kenny raise the necessary funds so he can keep concentrating on his health without having to constantly worry about his medical bills.”

Friends and family are planning a hog roast fundraiser Sunday, April 29 at 1 p.m. at American Legion, 4249 Sanibel Captiva Rd. The event includes live bands, raffles and a silent auction for items such as resort vacations, fishing trips, golf outings, restaurant certificates and more.

Admission is free, but donations are strongly encouraged. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

For more information, please contact Kelly Pohler at or 239-691-7455.

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

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. 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