Transplant costs overwhelming for Matteson man, fundraiser to help with expenses

Chicago, Ill., March 12, 2012 – Len Richard is waiting for the phone call that will change his life. He needs both a kidney and liver transplant, but the costs are overwhelming. Volunteers are holding a reception to raise funds.

After undergoing shoulder surgery in 2009, blood work revealed that Richard is diabetic. His health continued to worsen, and doctors discovered he also suffers from a life-threatening liver disease. They now say both a kidney and liver transplant are critical to his survival, and he was added to the transplant waiting list in January 2011.

As a professional stuntman, Richard, 39, is no stranger to frightening situations, and he’s determined to overcome this obstacle. He loves life and refuses to give up hope. He looks forward to receiving his lifesaving surgeries, which will give him the energy to return to his normal way of life.

A kidney/liver transplant costs approximately $750,000. Even with health coverage, Richard’s expenses will be significant. For the rest of his life, he will need follow-up care and vital anti-rejection medications, which can be very costly.
Richard is from California but had to relocate 2,000 miles from his home to be near the hospital for the transplant and recovery, incurring substantial expenses. He’s been in Chicago since Dec. 2009 and must remain there until he receives his transplant. Because of his declining health, he is currently unable to work, adding to the financial strain.

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

“My heart goes out to Len,” said Kay Horne, NFT fundraising consultant. “It’s already difficult to face a life-threatening illness, but he has the added stress of mounting medical bills and the enormous costs to relocate so far from his home in California. He’s lucky to have family in the Chicago area, but it’s still difficult – financially, mentally and emotionally -- to pack up and move for more than two years. At NFT, we’re dedicated to helping Len raise the necessary funds so he can focus on his health without constantly worrying about his medical expenses.”
Volunteers are planning a reception Sunday, March 25 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Alpha Facility community center, 8236 S. Western in Chicago. The event will include light refreshments. There is no cost to attend, but donations are strongly encouraged. The general public is welcome to attend.

For more information, please contact Anthony Richard at AR3194@msn.com or 708-720-2024.

To make a donation in Richard’s honor, please visit www.transplants.org. If you prefer to mail your contribution, please send your gift to the NFT California Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Avenue, Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Be sure to write “in honor of Len Richard” in the subject 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 and advocacy to transplant patients by organizing fundraising campaigns in the patients’ own communities. In the past 29 years, NFT’s fundraising campaigns have generated nearly $60 million to assist patients.

NFT currently 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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