Breathing. That's something I take for granted. My friend Jenn wrote this on her blog the other day. I decided to "cut and paste" so as not to screw up any information. Please read it, pass it on, donate, pray, whatever you feel compelled to do.
This post is all about my cousin, Ashley. I have been on facebook and left notes here and there in this blog about her, but now I want to take this opportunity to share some more.
Ashley is my 26 year old cousin who at the age of 9 months was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). It is a genetic disease that is basically the overproduction of mucus. Right now, Ashley is facing a huge hurdle in her life. She is at the point in this disease where she requires a lung transplant to be able to continue to breathe.
Ashley is an amazing woman and just like a sister to me. She has managed, despite having CF, to go to college and get her degree. She got a job as an ultra sound technician, bought a house, and is now married and the proud mama of 2 dogs. She has made something of her life when faced with much less than ideal of cirumstances.
We are all faced with challenges in life. While hers may be greater than some others, we all push through and we all survive. That is just what Ashley is trying to do. Because Ashley went to school and got a job, she lost the title of "disabled". Disability and Social Security benefits ended - which as long as you are able to work and be a productive member of society, I understand. But what I don't understand is why now, when being a productive member of society is what Ashley is struggling with - per her disease, she can no longer receive those benefits. It is a 2 year process to reclaim the Disability status. She does not have 2 years to wait for those lungs. Had she simply lived off of those benefits and not gotten a job or gone to school - there would be no problem and they would be available to her. Does that process make sense at all?
Ashley is in need of her lung transplant. They have insurance, but the costs of such a transplant (mainly care and medicinal after transplant) far exceed that which insurance covers. All would be completely paid for with Social Security and Disability had she not gotten a job - but she did.
Ashley went 2 weeks ago for an evaluation. There is a small window of opportunity to do a transplant on a CF patient (and I assume any transplant patient). You must be sick enough to take the risk of surgery and rejection, yet healthy enough to with stand the surgery and come off the ventilator. Last Thursday Ashley found out that she is, in fact, an ideal candidate for the transplant at this time in her health. However, due to insurance restrictions, they will not list her. Because of the extensive costs and the red tape involved in this transplant, Ashley is trying to do fundraisers to help in her cause and to get new lungs. She has a blog of her own now and also has a cause, Keep Ashley Kennen Breathing on Facebook. But niether of those things are going to get her new lungs.
In an effort to help as much we can, our family is going to have a giveaway. We saw this done by another family to help children in Kenya and we thought that we would also give it a shot. We will be purchasing a brand new IPAD. From May 1st-31st we will be running this giveaway. I will post details here and every day on Facebook. For every $10 donation that is made to Ashley's transplant fund, an entry will be made on your behalf to the IPAD giveaway. Please make sure that you click on the red "contribute now" button on the left side of the page above Ashley's picture. For multiple enteries to count, they must be done in $10 increments. If you make 2 $10 donations, you will have 2 enteries. If you make 10 $10 donations, you will have 10 enteries. The donations go directly to the National Transplant Assistance Fund and they are tax deductible. In addition to an IPAD entry for every $10 donation you make, our family will donate $1 for every person whom makes a donation. Ashley will randomly select a winner June 14th. This will allow for all of the donations to be posted and every entry counted. Ashley will have herself video taped as she randomly selects the winner. The video will be posted here and also on Facebook. I am hopeful that this great idea will work out as great for Ashley as it did for the children in Kenya. Please share this with friends, family, on your facebook or on your own blog. The more aware we can make people about the challenges that people face in getting the proper medical care, the more good we can do. Thank you in advance for your support and thank you for taking the time to read about Ashley and her newest adventure.
$10 can make a world of difference and give someone the GIFT OF BREATHING! To make your TAX DEDUCTIBLE contribution today, go to http://www.ntafund.org/find-a-patient/profile/index.cfm/patient/8709F3F5-F91C-86EB-6D967F9A587472CE and click on the red "contribute now" button.
Neither Apple nor the National Transplant Assistance Fund are a part of this fund raiser. Neither have supplied any material or endorsement All proceeds are to benefit the National Transplant Assistance Fund in honor of Ashley Kennen.