Local chef to help San Benito transplant patient

Mission, Texas, Dec. 4, 2012 – Victor Blanco knows exactly what he wants for Christmas—a new kidney.

Every day he awaits the phone call saying a donor match has been found, but he’s not sitting idly by watching the days go by. Blanco, 29, is determined to live his life to the fullest.

In 2010, Blanco saw his doctor after his feet began to swell. Many tests later, he learned that his kidneys never fully developed and were not filtering fluids properly. He immediately began dialysis, and doctors say he needs a kidney transplant to survive. He was added to the transplant waiting list in 2011 and hopes to get his transplant soon.

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

To help alleviate the financial burden, Blanco 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.

“Victor has an amazing attitude,” said Kay Horne, NFT fundraising consultant. “Even while facing such a frightening health crisis, he is always upbeat and happy when I talk to him. At NFT, we really want to help Victor raise the necessary funds so he can focus on his health and living a long, happy life, not worrying about medical bills.”

Local chef Jimmy De La Cruz, executive chef at The Club at Cimarron, heard Blanco’s story and wanted to help.

On Tuesday, Dec. 18, De La Cruz is hosting a black and white tie dinner from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at The Club at Cimarron, 1200 S. Shary Rd. in Mission. The dinner is $80/plate and will consist of four courses with the entire menu planned and created by Chef De La Cruz. Dinner will also include wine and champagne.

For questions, please contact Mari De Leon at maricela.deleon4@gmail.com or Blanco at 956-491-6347 or victorblanco22@gmail.com.

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

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 www.transplants.org.