Picnic and auction to help local double-lung transplant patient

Salem, Ohio, Aug. 3, 2015 – In 2008, Terry Bunshaft Gervelis, a Youngstown native, began experiencing subtle health issues that limited her ability to live an active life.

Then in 2013, she was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Doctors say a double-lung transplant is essential to her survival. With just 18 percent lung function remaining, Gervelis, 57, relies on an oxygen tank for every breath.

The average double-lung transplant costs approximately $800,000. Even with health coverage, which will cover the majority of the transplant costs, she faces significant expenses related to the surgery. For the rest of her life, she will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications, which are as critical to her survival as the transplant itself.

When she receives her transplant, Gervelis must temporarily relocate more than 150 miles from her home to be near the hospital for 3-6 months during recovery, incurring substantial expenses for travel, food and lodging.

For fundraising support and guidance, Gervelis 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.

“My heart goes out to Terry,” said Kay Horne, NFT fundraising consultant. “I’m hopeful she receives her transplant soon. At NFT, we’re here to help her and her family raise the necessary funds so she can afford her lifesaving treatment and care.”

Sunday, Aug. 16, friends in the Youngstown area are holding a picnic and auction to help offset Gervelis’s medical expenses.

The event will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. at Samie Winick’s Barn, 11335 Lisbon Rd. in Salem. Entry is $10, and the event will include food, live music, a silent auction, and a Skype session for attendees to visit with Gervelis in Wash.*

For more information or to register for the class, please contact Sandy Grace at 515-278-8073 or A_NEW_DAY_TERRY@excite.com.

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

*Gervelis currently resides in Wash., but Grace and Winick, who are longtime friends and former Villa Maria High School classmates, are planning this event in her honor. Proceeds will go to NFT to assist with Gervelis’s transplant-related expenses.

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 $72 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.