Fundraisers to help Charleston woman with transplant costs

North Charleston, S.C., March 6, 2012 – For Chantay Evans-Glisson, every breath is a struggle. She needs a double-lung transplant, but the costs are overwhelming. Volunteers are planning several fundraisers to help.

In 2003, Evans-Glisson began experiencing shortness of breath and wheezing. After an X-ray and other tests, she was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, which caused inflammation in the lymph nodes in her lungs. Although medical professionals say this is not a hereditary disease, two members of her family have also suffered from it; one passed away from the illness. Her lungs are currently functioning at only 25 percent, and doctors say a double-lung transplant is critical to her survival. Before she could begin evaluations to be added to the transplant waiting list, she had to raise $10,000 to prove she can afford her post-transplant medications and care. Thanks to generous donors, she has met this goal and is currently undergoing evaluations and hopes to be added to the list soon.

Just days after her wedding, Evans-Glisson received her diagnosis. She and her husband, Timmy, have three children between them, and this illness has been difficult for the entire family. The blended families haven’t had as much time as they would like to become a strong family unit because Evans-Glisson has spent her entire marriage battling sarcoidosis.

Evans-Glisson, 47, loves being active and looks forward to having the energy to go bowling, dancing, horseback riding and playing tennis. She is extremely grateful for the love and support of her family and friends, as they have remained by her side every step of the way. After receiving her transplant, she hopes to give back to the transplant community by helping others in similar situations.

A double-lung transplant costs approximately $650,000. Even with health coverage, she will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications for the rest of her life. The cost of her post-transplant medications can range from $2,000 to $5,000 per month, and they are as critical to her survival as the transplant itself.

Evans-Glisson had to relocate more than 300 miles from her home to be near the transplant center and must remain there until she receives her transplant and during recovery, incurring significant travel expenses. She enjoyed her job in computer networking, but her declining health prevents her from working, adding to the financial strain.

To help offset these expenses, Evans-Glisson turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance. NFT is a nonprofit organization that helps patients raise funds to pay for transplant-related expenses.

Volunteers are planning three fundraisers to help:

• Saturday, March 24: “Fresh Air,” a hip-hop concert, will take place at Jimbo’s Rock Lounge, 1662 Savannah Highway in the Indigo Village Shopping Center. Admission is a suggested donation of $10, but additional donations are strongly encouraged. The event will be hosted by Baby J of Star 99.7 and will feature DJ R Dot and the following artists: Benjamin Starr of Charleston, S.C.; BigREC of Atlanta; Collin Gibson of Atlanta; Continental GT of Columbia, S.C.; Forte Bowie of Atlanta; OxyXmoron of Florence, S.C.; Righchus of Charleston; Shred TVT of Atlanta; and Z1R0 featuring J. Barr of Morrow, Ga. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the concert begins at 8 p.m.. The event is open to ages 18 and older. Fresh Air is presented by H1GHER LEARNING and SHIFT Entertainment. For questions or more information, please contact Tawana N.Tolbert at 843-367-3294 or tawana@covetpr.com.

• Also on Saturday, March 24: “Shucking for Chantay,” an oyster roast will take place at D&R Truck and Auto Center, 2376 Ashley River Rd. from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Admission is $15 a person, and additional donations are appreciated. For more information, please contact Danny Heidtman at 843-343-1995.

• Saturday, March 31: Volunteers will hold a crab crack fundraiser from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Wingtime, 2810 Ashley Phosphate Rd. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance or at the door. The event will include DJ entertainment. For tickets or more information, please contact Jannie Brown at 843-412-1035 or leolady127@yahoo.com.

To make a tax-deductible gift in honor of Evans-Glisson, 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 Chantay Evans-Glisson” on the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online at www.transplants.org. Donors should click on “Patients We Help” to locate Evans-Glisson.

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 1,200 transplant candidates and recipients nationwide. For more information about NFT, please call 800-489-3863 or visit www.transplants.org.

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