When Jeanie married her high school sweetheart, Tony Clark, they looked forward to a long, blissful union. They settled down in Oklahoma and started their family. They raised two children, a son and daughter, both of whom excel in their chosen careers: the son as a School Superintendent and daughter as an 8th grade English Language & Arts teacher. For decades, life was good, and family meant everything to the Clarks.
Life became even better when the grandchildren arrived. Their son has five and the daughter is parent to an only child. All the grands are active in sports and one of them is a cross country runner. Together, Jeanie and her husband bask in the joy of being grandparents.
Then the family received unfortunate news. In 2015, Jeanie was hospitalized for nine days and learned she was suffering from liver cancer. Sadly, she understood the effects of liver disease all too well, it ran in her family. Her doctors said a liver transplant was critical to her survival.
Her transplant doctors and center are located nearly 100 miles away from her home. For all her medical procedures, she is faced with a 200-mile roundtrip. She was told that if she was successfully transplanted, she would need to relocate for at least a month to be near her medical center. Afterwards, she would be expected to resume her 200-mile roundtrip and of course there was always a chance she could experience complications.
Not only was Jeanie faced with mounting health issues but also mounting cost related to travel, lodging, and out-of-pocket medical cost.
In May 2021, National Foundation for Transplants received a referral letter from Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute stating Jeanie was their patient and was waiting for a new liver. They referred Jeanie to our organization due to the high cost of post-transplant medications and care and asked if National Foundation for Transplants could assist in raising funds to help offset the family’s anticipated, out-of-pocket costs.
Senior Director of Patient Services, Samantha Palazolo, said, “Jeanie’s case is the reason National Foundation for Transplants exists. Our founders assisted a young patient who needed a new liver. That’s how we got our start. Back then, we were known as the Organ Transplant Fund. Since 1983, we’ve helped thousands of patients overcome financial obstacles related to transplantation. We can help Jeanie, too, and others who find themselves in a similar situation.”
In December 2021, Jeanie received the call and was successfully transplanted. Her life is slowly returning to normal. When it is safe, she will once again support her grandchildren’s sporting events, attend their birthday parties, and spend lots of quality time with each of them. “Being ill kept me from attending many grandkids’ functions. I miss seeing them dearly. I love them to the moon and back.”
In the new year, life for the Clarks is looking good. National Foundation for Transplants will continue to help Jeanie overcome financial obstacles she may encounter on her post-transplant journey.
Anyone can register to become an organ donor at RegisterMe.org. Living donors and organ recipients can contact National Foundation for Transplants when they need help raising funds for out-of-pocket transplant-related expenses. We’ exist to help transplant patients through their most difficult times get to their most wonderful times. You can support their transplant journey with a financial gift.