Restaurant chips in to help Newark man with transplant costs

New Castle, Del., April 16, 2012 – Bill Bulford is grateful for every breath he takes. He recently received a double-lung transplant, but the costs are overwhelming. Jake’s Wayback Burgers is holding a fundraiser to help.

In 2008, Bulford began experiencing shortness of breath and a nagging cough; his doctor thought he was asthmatic and gave him an inhaler. He then suffered from a serious infection requiring antibiotics, and his breathing drastically worsened. Although he asked for a CT scan, his doctor felt it was only necessary to perform X-rays, which didn’t find any issues. Once a CT scan was performed in 2010, he was diagnosed with end-stage emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension. Bulford’s lungs were only functioning at 17 percent, and doctors said a double-lung transplant was critical to his survival. He received his lifesaving transplant on November 30, 2011. He has faced some complications but is thankful to have a new lease on life.

He is grateful for the ongoing love and support from his wife, Carol, and their two adult children and young grandson. He is eager to have the energy to spend more time with family and friends and help out around the house. He enjoys riding motorcycles and working in the yard, but his health issues kept him from these activities, and he looks forward to resuming them when he fully recovers.

Bulford, 68, is thrilled to no longer depend on an oxygen tank to breathe, as he couldn’t sit through a church service or a movie without worrying that his tank would run too low. A proud U.S. Army veteran and former New Jersey police officer, he spent many years serving others, and now he’s the one who needs help.

A double-lung transplant costs approximately $650,000. Even with health coverage, he faces significant expenses related to his transplant. Bulford will need a lifetime of follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. The cost of his post-transplant medications can range from $2,000 to $5,000 per month, and they are as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.

He had to temporarily relocate 300 miles to Pittsburgh to be near the hospital during recover, incurring substantial travel expenses. He will also require periodic trips to Pittsburgh for follow-up care for the rest of his life. Because of his health challenges, he is unable to work, adding to the financial strain.

To overcome these financial challenges, the Bulfords turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance. NFT is a nonprofit organization that helps transplant patients raise funds to pay for transplant-related expenses.

“Of course we’re overjoyed that Bill received his transplant,” said Claire Prince, NFT fundraising consultant, “but many people don’t realize the lifelong financial burdens associated with transplantation. He’ll need extensive follow-up care to keep his new lungs healthy, and those costs can be very overwhelming. At NFT, we are dedicated to helping Bill and Carol raise the necessary funds so they can celebrate his new life without constantly worrying about the costs.”

Volunteers have partnered with Jake’s Wayback Burgers, 150 S. Dupont Highway, to help raise funds. From noon to 5 p.m., the restaurant will donate 20 percent of all sales to NFT in Bulford’s honor.

Volunteers will be selling crocheted items from Stitches 2 Share during the event.

For questions or more information, please contact Darlene Faraone at or 302-593-3517.

To make a donation in honor of Bulford, please mail a tax-deductible gift to the NFT Delaware Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write “in honor of Bill Bulford” in the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online at Donors should click on “Patients We Help” to locate Bulford.

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. In the past 29 years, NFT has helped generate nearly $60 million to assist patients with their expenses.

NFT currently assists more than 2,500 transplant candidates and recipients nationwide. For more information about NFT, please call 800-489-3863 or visit