Oyster roast in honor of local transplant patient

When Wesley Smith, of Virginia Beach, was just two months old, he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF), which took the lives of two of his uncles when they were just infants.

His diagnosis was devastating for his parents, and it didn’t take long for them to become used to frequent hospitalizations and doctors’ visits, but they were dedicated to doing whatever it took to make sure their son had the best possible care.

Throughout his entire life, Smith, 32, has been given time frames and life expectancies, but he has defied the odds every time. Over the past year, his lung function has severely decreased, and now it’s a struggle to simply walk around his home. Doctors say a double-lung transplant is essential to his survival.

To help alleviate the financial burden, Smith and his family 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.

“I’m so hopeful that a donor will be found for Wesley soon,” said Claire Prince, NFT fundraising consultant. “It’s amazing to see how many people are rallying around him, and I know he wants nothing more than to be there to see his little boy grow up. At NFT, we’re here as long as he needs our help so he can focus on his health, not his medical expenses.”

Sunday, Oct. 26 from 3 to 7 p.m., volunteers are holding an all-you-can-eat oyster roast at Froggie’s Cantina, 3656 Shore Dr. in Virignia Beach.

Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door, and all proceeds will go to NFT in Smith’s honor. Tickets prices include beer, and the event will also include live music and many raffle items.

For more information, please contact Jeannie Gonzales at 757-575-4412 or jeanniegonzales@cox.net.

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

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 $70 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.