Local musician awaiting lifesaving transplant

Portland, Ore., May 7, 2013 – Mark Simon, a critically-acclaimed composer, is awaiting a lifesaving liver transplant, but the costs are overwhelming. Fellow musicians are rallying around him to help.

After undergoing a liver biopsy in 2000, Simon, 53, was diagnosed with a life-threatening liver disease. Doctors don't know how long he's been suffering from this illness, but they say a liver transplant is essential to his survival.

He was approved to be added to the transplant waiting list at University of Washington Medical Center in 2010, and there is no way of knowing when the transplant will take place.

The average liver transplant costs approximately $550,000. Even with health coverage, he faces considerable medical expenses. For the rest of his life, he will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. Post-transplant medications can be very expensive, and they are as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.

To help alleviate the financial burden, Simon 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 breaks my heart to know Mark is going through so much,” said Kay Horne, NFT fundraising consultant. “I know it’s hard to wrap your head around all these medical issues, let alone the expenses. At NFT, we want to help him raise the necessary funds so he can focus on his health and his family, not his soaring medical bills.”

To help with Simon’s medical expenses, Tony Starlight is hosting a “Singer’s Showcase.” Along with many of Portland’s finest vocalists, Simon will be performing with two Portland jazz icons—bassist Dave Captein and drummer Todd Strait. The evening promises to have special moments, as many of Portland’s top musicians will be in attendance.

When: Wednesday, May 22 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Where: Tony Starlight’s Supper Club & Lounge, 3728 NE Sandy Blvd. in Portland
Cost: $15 (suggested donation)

Please RSVP by 6 p.m. on the evening of the event by contacting Tony Starlight at 503-517-8584 or tonystarlight@hotmail.com.

For more information, please contact Cynthia Plank at cynthia.plank@comcast.net.

To make a tax-deductible donation in honor of Simon, please visit his personal fundraising page or send a contribution to the NFT Oregon Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write “in honor of Mark Simon” on the memo line.

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 $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.
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