Fundraiser to help local woman awaiting second lung transplant

Inman, S.C., July 12, 2016 – Although it wasn’t discovered until she was an adult, Shannon Zimmerman, of Inman, was born with a heart defect that eventually caused pulmonary hypertension, requiring a double-lung transplant in 2002.

For years, Zimmerman, 44, was able to enjoy a new lease on life with her new lungs, but now they’re failing once again as a result of scarring from mycoplasma pneumonia and a secondary infection. Doctors say a second double-lung transplant is critical.

The average double-lung transplant costs approximately $850,000. And that’s only the beginning. Even with insurance, which will cover the cost of the transplant, she still faces significant expenses related to the surgery. For the rest of her life, she will need follow-up care and anti-rejection medications, which are critical to her survival.

When she receives her transplant, Zimmerman must temporarily relocate 320 miles from her home to be near the hospital during the recovery period, incurring substantial expenses for travel, food and lodging. Because of her declining health, she had to leave a job she loved as a cosmetologist, adding to the financial strain.

For fundraising support, Zimmerman turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance with some of these financial burdens. NFT is a nonprofit organization based in Memphis, Tenn. that helps patients offset their transplant-related expenses through their community-based fundraising program.

“I’m hopeful for Shannon, and so thankful that she has such a wonderful support system around her,” said Samantha Palazolo, NFT fundraising consultant. “At NFT, we want nothing more than to see her lead a happy, healthy life without constantly worrying about her medical expenses.”

To help offset her expenses, loved ones are holding “Shannon’s Second Wind Fundraiser,” a craft sale, bake sale and silent auction.

The event will be held Saturday, July 30 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Gathering Place at Lake Bowen Commons, 7116 SC-9 in Inman.

Admission is free, and there will be hand-crafted jewelry, deco-mesh wreaths, crocheted items, cookies, cakes, pies and candies. Silent auction items include a hotel stay, gift cards, a framed, autographed picture of Coach Dabo Swinney, a pair of tickets to the Charlotte Motor Speedway and passes to Columbia’s Riverbank Zoo.

For more information, please contact Eva Gillespie at 864-279-7560.

To make a tax-deductible donation in honor of Zimmerman, please send a contribution to the NFT South Carolina Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write “in honor of Shannon Zimmerman” on the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online.

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. NFT’s fundraising campaigns have generated nearly $75 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