National Foundation for Transplants (NFT), a 35-year-old, national nonprofit, is announcing its awareness campaign highlighting its lifesaving support to transplant patients in the Greater Tampa area.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, more than 114,000 patients are on the national waiting list to receive a lifesaving organ. The pre-and post-surgery care, in addition to the surgery itself, is expensive. According to Milliman Research Report 2017, a heart transplant costs approximately $1,383,000. While insurance covers the vast majority of this expense, it is the unpaid expenses and financial hardships that become daunting for anyone. And, post-transplant patients face a lifetime of pharmaceutical and medical costs.

“We want patients and health care workers to know about the National Foundation for Transplants and what we can offer in the beginning and throughout the transplant journey,” said Michelle Gilchrist, President and CEO of NFT. “By connecting with patients early in the process, we help them understand and navigate the financial challenges with the goal of giving them a second chance at life. And, our support does not stop after the transplant surgery. We continue to help patients with the lifelong medical costs associated with the transplant.”

It’s estimated that more than 5,000 Floridians are waiting on an organ transplant with approximately 900 patients living in the Greater Tampa area, according to 2017 data from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

“We count Tampa General Hospital, one of the busiest transplant centers in the U.S., as a key partner of the National Foundation for Transplants, working collaboratively to reduce the anxiety and financial stress that patients and their families often face,” said Gilchrist. “Our goal with this campaign is to let Tampa residents know that there is a community of patients that rely on NFT for help and we are just a phone call away.”

Contributions received by National Foundation for Transplants are used to assist patients in overcoming financial hardships associated with organ transplants. Unlike other crowdfunding sources, contributions to NFT can be tax deductible and do not impact Social Security or other benefit caps.

As part of the Tampa outreach, NFT is launching a multi-media campaign that includes the messaging The First Stop for a Second Chance, which clearly reflects the organization’s mission – providing a second chance for patients who need an organ transplant

“Our new logo symbolically evokes an angel offering hope and support to patients,” said Gilchrist.  “We want to ensure people who need hope know that we are their best hope for a second chance.”

The National Foundation for Transplants is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. NFT funds are made available to patients in addition to assisting them in organizing fundraising campaigns in their own communities. NFT’s fundraising efforts have generated nearly $82 million to assist patients since its founding.

For more information about the National Foundation for Transplants, please call 800-489-3863 or visit www.transplants.org.

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