American Transplant Foundation’s Patient Assistance Program provides emergency financial assistance grants to transplant patients in need. Take a minute to read testimonials from people whose lives our Patient Assistance Program has touched. Please read testimonials from social workers here.
To see testimonials from our 1+1=LIFE Mentorship Program, please click here.
Rosalind is an altruistic living kidney donor who was a part of a 6 person donation chain. Her job is labor-intensive and she had to take two months off of work.
She received one of our PAP grants to help her during recovery. She called our office to give us an update, and here’s what she had to say:
“I just wanted to call to tell you that I really appreciate the grant; I did a lot of saving to be able to do this. My grant of $522.33 allowed me to take time away with my family during my recovery.
I’m self-employed, so if I don’t work I don’t get paid. I hope that the experiences of altruistic living donors like me can make kidney donation less scary for other people. The benefit of doing something so good for so many people is indescribable.”
Dear Miss Erica,
I want to extend my deep and sincere appreciation to the American Transplant Foundation for your most generous award of $1,000.00 in assisting me with my financial needs during my time of recovery as a kidney donor to my sister Olivia Jackson the recipient.
Every bit of support has been so helpful during this time of need and yours was very important because it went towards my mortgage payment. It brought me peace of mind and helped to diffuse my stress level during my time of recovery. I was able to relax and allow the healing to take it’s course.
The Kidney Transplant Project was a major ordeal for both my sister and I and we didn’t know how this would all unfold.
All we could do was to try and prepare as best as possible and have faith that the rest would come. The kidney is healthy and took to her body right away! So now we move forward towards a sure and healthy recovery.
Organizations as yours makes one feel that you are not alone and that there are people with kind and giving hearts that care. Your organization restores my hope and faith in humanity and inspires me to continue to be of service to others in the best way I can. I will move forward on my journey as an advocate in respect to the importance of being an organ donor. I am attaching a photo of my sister and myself. I am on the left (Irma) a bit taller than her (Olivia) who is on the right.
With much love, respect and gratitude,
I was overjoyed when I got the letter that my grant had been approved and knew everything was going to be okay. Thank you so much! There are no words to express how I feel about the help. It took a lot of my worry away about keeping the kidney healthy.
Marissa, kidney recipient
Devoted husband and father of two daughters, Miguel, donated his kidney to his wife, Maria, in January. He had no paid time off following the donation, and with the help of our Patient Assistance Program, was able to receive a grant to cover his family’s mortgage.
Miguel and one of his daughters were able to share their story at this year’s Transplant Hero Award Gala; there was not a dry eye in the audience when the two of them had finished their speech!
Dear American Transplant Foundation,
We are happy to have a chance to share our story. My name is Nyan (23 years old). My mom is Soe who is 60 years old and my father is Tint who is 64 years old. We originally came from Myanmar (also know as Burma). We have been here in the U.S about 7 years. I am a current college student who is on the senior year and my major is Civil Engineering. Now, we are currently living in New York.
My mom had hepatitis – C for very a long time. She got various treatments to get rid of that virus, however, most of the treatments weren’t able to complete due to the side effects of the medications. She was hospitalized about nine times during last seven years. Most of the times were emergency situations. Around December 2014, we found out from her MRI test result that she got liver cancer. So, we discussed with her herpetologist (Liver Specialist) Dr. Samuel Sigal (NYU Langone Medical Center) to decide what is the best treatment for her. We were also working closely with NYU transplant center. Usually, she can’t handle the side effects of powerful/extreme treatments or medications because she also had other blood related issues. Therefore, we decided to go for liver treatment as all the doctors recommended. Basically, it’s to remove her bad/damaged liver before too late which means removal of the bad one and replace with a good/ healthy liver before the cancer cells spread to other part of the body.
Waiting to get a new liver will take some time – it could be more one or two years due to many people are on the waiting list and also not an easy thing to get the liver which match with the recipient. So, I decided to donate half of my liver (right side) because I want her to live longer with us, and this is one of the best things I can do for her in my life.
We had some financial challenges because I am still in college and only working part-time, my father is also working part-time, and my mom can’t work for long time due to her health condition. Therefore, we were trying to reach out to organizations such as American Transplant Foundation and National Living Donor Assistance Center to get financial help. Fortunately, we got financial help from both organizations, and some of my aunts were also able to come and stay with us during the surgery and recovery periods.
So, we got the liver transplant surgery on May 28, 2015 and it was successfully done. My mom was operated by Dr. Bruce Gelb (Director of Rental Transplantation of NYU Hospital), and I was operated by Dr. Glyn R. Morgan (Associate Director of Transplantation of NYU Hospital). The whole transplant operation was overseen by Dr. Lewis W. Teperman (Director of Transplantation of NYU Hospital). It wasn’t very comfortable after the surgery as usual, but we felt a lot better after a week in the hospital.
When we were in the hospital, all the doctors and nurses were taking really great care of us and also one of my aunts from Maryland came and supported us very closely. We stayed in the hospital about 10 days. After we got back home, we felt better day by day. One of my aunts from Michigan came and lived with us during two recovery months. We had follow up appointments – started with once a week and then once every two weeks – after that once a month. Now, we are recovering well from our transplant surgery after four months. My mom meets with her surgeon every month, and I see my surgeon once a year.
Overall, it was very important life changing movement for our family. We couldn’t have done this so successfully without wonderful and very kind support from organizations like American Transplant Foundation and National Living Donor Assistance Center, NYU Hospital transplant team and all of our family members. We are really appreciative of all your support from the bottom of our hearts because now we are back to our normal lives and able to live longer together once again.
Note: Now, I am back in school and working part-time. Once again, thank you so much for your support and we will never forget about your kindness.
I am writing on behalf of our son Liam, he is currently 1 year and 8 months old. Liam was born with a metabolic disorder called UREA Cycle, its a genetic disorder caused by a deficiency of one of the enzymes in the urea cycle which is responsible for removing ammonia from the blood stream. This caused many trips to Rochester because a slight variation in food intake (special formula) would cause either too much or too little protein that lead to high ammonia levels in the blood. Because high levels of ammonia can cause seizures, brain swelling and coma Liam was watched very closely.
It has been 1 year and 3 months almost since his liver transplant. We had our ups and downs but he is a miracle and we love him with all of our hearts. We currently travel once a month for a procedure that he gets done and hopefully it will be less frequent. Overall he is doing great and is a very happy little guy.
I’m currently the only one working and thankful for a very flexible job but we do not qualify for state aid and rely on my work insurance to cover our medical bills. With high deductibles and yearly max out of pocket expenses adding up and frequent travel we found ourselves looking for some additional help to cover the additional costs we incur. Firstly we want to thank God that he has blessed us an many ways, and thank him for people and organizations like you that help families in such cases. We as a family sincerely thank you for your contribution toward our current bill that we have at the children’s hospital in Pittsburgh PA.
Michael, Living Kidney Donor, August 2015
My name is Michael and I saved someone’s life.
That sounds pretty grandiose to me. But, as humble as I’d like to pretend to be, that is truly the case.
My wife’s Aunt Beth was in End Stage Kidney Disease when my wife made the decision to get tested for compatibility. While we were in the hospital, the doctor made a comment that put the scenario in perspective. He explained, “You could sit in PNC Park baseball field, and be the only person who donated a kidney. That’s how rare this gift is.”
My wife was not a match. Like 8 others who attempted to donate, she was not a part of the 15% of the population who had the right combination of traits in order to match Aunt Beth. While at the hospital supporting my wife’s efforts, I had volunteered to get tested for compatibility as well. As God would have it, I was part of that 15%. But herein lies the problem, I am the primary financial support for our family of 4. We were going to need help.
Through faith, we continued with the numerous tests and doctor’s appointments. Fortunately, we had enough humility to ask our social worker for help during one of the doctor appointments. That is when we heard about the generous contributions that were made available to us through the American Transplant Foundation’s Patient Assistance Program. I believe God works through the people put in our lives; so, I thank God for the American Transplant Foundation.
Sincerely and appreciatively,
Michael (and Aunt Beth I’m sure too)
P.S. I am pleased to report that I recovered extremely fast thanks to my ability to rest properly after the surgery.
Mason, Living Kidney Donor
July 23, 2015
1. What was your greatest concern when you decided to become a living donor?
My greatest concern when becoming a living donor was the fear of ever needing a kidney or having a child who needed one.
2. How did financial support from ATF during this time help with the transplant process? Did it make you more willing to donate?
Without the financial support from ATF I would not have been able to afford to donate. The grant covered my rent for 1 month and allowed me to take time of work to recover in a stress free environment. It allowed me to donate the gift of life.
3. What would you say to our donors who gave financially to our organization so that we could help you during this difficult time?
I would like to thank all supporters of ATF for allowing people like myself the ability to help others and save lives. Keep doing what you’re doing!
Kirby, Living Kidney Donor
May 27, 2015
Dear American Transplant Foundation,
I would really like to thank the American Transplant Foundation for their support during this tough but joyous time. They really came through for me with assistance that allowed me to donate a kidney to my niece. My niece has been dealing with kidney failure for sometime now and has been on dialysis for over a year.
I knew it was important for her to get a kidney. So I was tested without anyone’s knowledge except for the staff at Georgetown University Hospital Transplant Center. When I found out that I was a match I was so overjoyed that I would be able to help my niece have a chance at living again. I told my niece that I was a match for her at church one Sunday morning. She was so overjoyed as I was too.
As we prepared for the surgery I did not have a lot of leave to have the procedure done but I knew it was worth going into the hole for. So I expressed this to my case manager and she told me about the American Transplant Foundation and what they do. I was just happy to know there was a program out there to help people who are trying to help others with a chance at life. So I applied and I got approved for assistance.
This grant helped me out so much because it took care of things that would have worried about if they were not here to help. As I went through the surgery I did not have to worry about my bills because they helped me take care of it. I could rest and heal so I could get my life back. I really truly appreciate you American Transplant Foundation for your help and support. I am doing fine and my niece is doing so great. The kidney is working for her and she is getting her life back.
Charles, Living Kidney Donor
May 21, 2015
“Thank you to all the donors for the financial grant I was given. It really helped my family make ends meet as I took off 6 weeks of unpaid time, to donate a kidney to my son. It is so wonderful to know that there is a foundation, such as yours, that helps with the life saving miracle of kidney transplants.”
A year ago on a Sunday morning, my wife noticed a Facebook post about a firefighter/father of three/husband who was in need of a kidney. He lived in the nearby town, yet we had never met. I thought about that man throughout church that day, and when I returned home, I told my wife that I wanted to help out. I wanted to be that person who was the match. I just couldn’t get his story out of my head, and I knew that I couldn’t turn away from a father who had three children.
My main reason to donate was because I wanted those children to keep their father. After testing, word eventually got around that I was the donor, and the recipient and his family asked if we could meet. So, two weeks before the surgery, my family and I met the future recipient and his family. It was a wonderful meeting that I will never forget.
After the surgery, I recovered quickly and actually left the day after the surgery. It took about six weeks to fully recover, so the small donation that we received from your charity helped to cover bills while I was on FMLA.
Looking back on this experience, I know that I would do it all over again, without hesitation. It was one of the most rewarding experiences that I and my family went through. I never quavered throughout the entire process, and I think that is what most people were surprised about. I knew that it was a gift of life that I was giving, and that it just felt right. There wasn’t any need to ever worry.
My family and I have now become close friends with Brian and his family. We try to meet monthly just to catch up and enjoy some time together. If anyone is ever considering donation, I would tell them that it will absolutely be the most rewarding experience ever. After all, it’s giving life!
Mark, Kidney Donor
My name is Amy, and I was lucky enough to receive a grant to help me with my kidney donation. I work in a restaurant and they were unable to offer me any sort of disability pay, so when making the decision to donate my kidney I knew I would be taking a minimum of a month off of work and without any pay. Although this complicated my decision, it never changed my mind in any way. The grant I received allowed me to focus on the more important things, like my donation and healing and not have to worry about paying my bills. It made it possible for me to save my cousins life.
My donating to my cousin was the best thing I have ever done in my life. My cousin is such a special and amazing person. She was born with kidney problems and this was her third transplant. She takes it all in a stride and with a smile on her face. When she started the process to get back on the transplant list for the third time, I jumped at the opportunity to help her. Being that this was her third transplant and she has a young daughter, the chances of finding her a match were less than ideal.
I went in for testing knowing that even if we were not a direct match they can put you into a donation pool. Of course I wanted to be a direct match but I kept an open mind towards our options, but sometimes things work out just perfectly and we were a great match! We only had one antibody towards each other! The odds were against us, but somehow things turned out just right.
Our transplant was completed March 10th of this year and within hours my cousin was feeling amazing! I have a text from the day of our transplant saved on my phone saying “I feel so good!”. The transplant came just in time, if we did not have a March 10 surgery she would have had to start dialysis that same day. My cousin is now able to lead a much more normal life and has the energy back to play with her daughter.
The grant made this whole process possible for us, we will never be able to thank you enough! Thank you for all that you did for us and everyone that you help.
I am writing to express my gratitude to your organization for the financial grant you so generously awarded me. Not having to worry about my rent payment as I was recuperating from surgery helped to alleviate additional stress. Your kind gesture was very much appreciated.
I am a single father with primary custody of both my four year old daughter Addyson and my nine year old son Donald. Both of my children are active, with an adventurous spirit, but unfortunately my daughter could not always keep up with my son due to her medical complications. Addyson suffered from Multi Cystic Dysplastic Kidneys before her successful transplant surgery. I had the privilege of donating one of my kidneys to her, which took place on March 24, 2015. She continues to live with Cystic Fibrosis, but has not let that slow her down. Since the procedure she has become even more active, keeping up with her brother, cousins and neighborhood friends, while truly enjoying her gift of life! She just accompanied her family to the Poconos for her first vacation, where she enjoyed swimming and miniature golf.
I am back to work, having fully recovered from the surgery. I am grateful for those who walked this road with me and continue to as Addyon becomes even stronger. My family and friends, as well as Addyson’s mother, have helped us both as we recovered over the past several months. I am also grateful for the thoughts and prayers bestowed on my family during these past four years. It is with great enthusiasm that I look forward to the future, and all of the healthy years ahead for my daughter!
Donald, Living Kidney Donor
Idelua, Kidney transplant recipient
March 5, 2015
UTMB Texas Transplant Center
I was at risk of losing my Medicare supplemental coverage, and I was saved by the help of the American Transplant Foundation.
My surgery, instead of lasting the usual 6-8 hours, was 21 hours long. Following my kidney transplant in 2013, my creatinine started going up about 3 months later. After my second kidney biopsy, I had to go back into the hospital because antibodies were attacking the new kidney. Thankfully the kidney was saved after a lot of expensive treatment and one round of chemotherapy. If I hadn’t had the coverage, I would have lost the kidney.
I knew it was important to have insurance to have access to these treatments. Without insurance coverage, I could have been back in kidney failure and on dialysis. The American Transplant Foundation was a lifesaver for me. I really appreciated the help because I didn’t know what else to do. I did a lot of calling and searching the web, and I couldn’t find any help. Thank you to the Foundation for helping to save my kidney.
Argette, Living Kidney Donor
January 15, 2015
Dear American Transplant Foundation,
My name is Argette and my husband’s name is Ronald. We currently reside in Grand Prairie Texas. My sister Brooksey has been living with kidney disease for at least 8 years. Therefore, I decided to follow-up with testing to see if I was a match. After completing months of testing, it was time to move forward with the kidney transplant. Therefore, I was instructed to travel to Albany New York for a clinical evaluation before the kidney transplant. After the evaluation, my sister Brooksey and I were scheduled for surgery on November 17, 2014. The surgery took place at Albany Medical Center located in New York City.
Thanks to your financial assistance, my sister Brooskey is no longer on dialysis after living with kidney disease for many years. Because of your grant, my husband and I did not have to worry about expenses throughout my recovery course from surgery.
My husband and I want to take this opportunity to thank you for providing financial assistance and support to make this kidney transplant happen. Because of your financial assistance, my husband was able to take off work for almost a month, to help provide the additional support I needed for healing and recovery from the kidney transplant surgery.
Words can’t express our gratitude of appreciation for helping me to donate life. “I am a living donor”.
Photo of my sister Brooksey:
Lynn, Living Kidney Donor
Johns Hopkins Hospital,Baltimore,MD
“I wanted to send a note to thank everyone at the American Transplant Foundation for the grant that I received last month. I donated a kidney to my fiance, and our surgery took place at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Your grant generously paid my car payment, cell phone bill, and car insurance for November, which was a huge help to me and took a lot of pressure off during my recovery period. Once again, my deepest thanks for funding the grant, and if I can ever help in any volunteer capacity, I would be more than happy to do so.
McCrea, Living Kidney Donor
Hi, my name is Lisa McCrea and on December 13, 2013 I donated a kidney to a stranger. My decision to donate came about after seeing someone’s need on Facebook. I contacted my recipient through matching donors and immediately went for the initial blood ad urine tests which showed that I was a match. I then traveled to California for my clinical evaluation and we were scheduled for surgery. It was the best decision I could have ever made. My recipient is doing wonderful and now has a new lease on life.
I have had a few complications as a result of the surgery and haven’t been able to return to work yet. My bills are piling up and I am in danger of losing my home and my utilities. But later on I was informed via email that my application was approved for $1,000!
Praise the Lord….THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH….You have saved me and my children from losing our home..GOD BLESS YOU
Todd, Living Kidney Donor
While enjoying a nice day of a picnic and watching a team of volley ball players at the Caledonia High School, Todd happened to overhear one of the senior parents talking about how excited she and her husband were because Bruce( the recipient) was finally added to the kidney transplant waiting list. Shortly after that, after being assured by Justine that approval of the application would not break the Foundation bank or keep others from being able to donate, they submitted the application. Within only a couple of days, they were informed by Justine that the Foundation had approved the grant.
Read more about Todd’s and Bruce’s story here
Sarah, Living Kidney Donor
Sarah and Duke were members of the same church, but they hardly knew each other. That didn’t stop Sarah from following the calling to donate her kidney to Duke. Thanks to this life-saving donation, Duke is no longer on dialysis after living with kidney disease for 32 years. Because of the Patient Assistance Program, Sarah did not have to worry about how she would cover her utilities while recovering after the surgery.
Read more about Sarah and Duke’s Story here.
Susan, Kidney Recipient
I want to start by telling you a bit about myself. I am a low income mother with one child. In the past year, I have had a lot going on with my life. I had open-heart surgery in August of 2012. Then I was approved for my kidney transplant six months later. I don’t know if you are religious but it was a gift from GOD! Most people have to wait on the waiting list for approximately 2.5 years. My wait was 3.5 months. My body is not rejecting my new kidney at all and it fits like a glove!
That is why I am so grateful for the support you have given me. I really wish I could thank you in person. Just to know that there are people out there that understand and know how tough it is! If there is any way I can help in the future, I am more than happy to do anything.
Amy, Living Donor
Thank you so much for the grant in the amount of $737.84 to assist with our house payment. When I received the news I felt a weight had been lifted. As I am sure you are aware, Indiana offers no donor assistance. As determined as I was to donate in the Pair Program on my brother-in-law’s behalf, the financial loss is big. Just know that the American Transplant Foundation has helped make our lives a little easier. Thank you for all you do!
Ericka, Living kidney donor
I appreciate your thoughtfulness and consideration. I am continuing to recuperate and recover from surgery. My kidney donation to my grandmother has been a real gift to her. She had a few complications following surgery but the Mayo Clinic has been diligent and relentless in high quality care. The financial assistance I received from the American Transplant Foundation was a true blessing! The assistance provided a cushion for us so that we would not have too much financial distress post transplant. It was a sacrifice for him to take off and the assistance made up for the lack!
Because of your help, not only was my grandmother’s life saved, but the quality of my life was saved as well because I had peace of mind and assurance that my basic necessities such as (a comfortable home) was going to be in place to facilitate healing and recovery. I know that stress and worrying can halt the healing process but your organization prevented it through your gift of love! I am eternally grateful for each of you who represent and to those who donate to the American Transplant Foundation. Thanks for your love and support!
Summer, Living donor to husband Edwin
My husband and I cannot begin to thank you for the financial assistance you provided us during a very stressful time.
It has only been a year since we got married, and we have been through more than anyone should have to handle in their first year of marriage. It is kind of a coincidence but it was also our first year of dating, almost seven years ago, that my husband’s PSC liver issues began. We met at the Penn State Bookstore on University Park campus. It had been a year of working many Saturday afternoon football games until we expressed any interest in each other romantically. Throughout our years of dating, his illness was well managed, but left him fatigued, which is common with any PSC patient […] Read more here.
Gary, Heart transplant recipient
The American Transplant Foundation; as well as Tania, Mayo Case Manager; have our sincerest appreciation for the grant of $500.00 for anti-rejection medication.
Although the miracle of a new heart transplant is incredibly amazing, the reality of the impact on one’s life is equally incredible.
Besides the significant change to our lifestyle, the costs of medications, Valcyte alone, after my BCBS Rx Insurance, was an unexpected $1,300.00 for one month supply.
I have been on disability income since 2002, and my wife, now as care giver is working part time at Books-A-Million while she finishes her education for a change in career.
Like many others we were effected by the poor market in addition to my degrading health and my wife’s income situation. The costs and efforts associated with our change in lifestyle is overwhelming. Your assistance towards our cost of medications has certainly helped ease our initial transition to the new lifestyle.
From the bottom of my new heart, Thank You!
Gary & Laurie
Angela – living kidney donor
I am so very thankful to the American Transplant Foundation. You are an awesome program! Your help took a lot of financial pressure off me at a time when I really needed help.
I knew all along I wanted to donate a kidney to my aunt, and would have done it without ATF’s assistance. But it would have been much more difficult. Since I’m out of work for this month of December, I have no income coming in. ATF’s help has given me peace of mind.
My aunt is very special to me and I’m thankful I was able to help her by giving her one of my kidneys. She’s doing excellently – she’s actually feeling better than I am right now & is helping me recover! It is so gratifying to see her doing so well. It’s worth all the discomfort I’ve had.
Your program is greatly needed! If ever I win the lottery, you will be a program I will make a big donation to!
Living kidney donor
Patricia Reese-Zuck – living kidney donor
I want to thank you so much for the help you gave us with our bills while we were in San Antonia for my husbands’ friends’ transplant. I am thankful for the wonderful people at the University Transplant Center that were so supportive and loving.
He feels much better and although I have had a few setbacks in my recovery, I did not have to worry about house payment or utilities right before Christmas with my children.
You did good and I feel blessed to have been associated with your organization. You are truly miracle workers and angels. The process was easy and the speed with which you replied was phenomenal.
Thank you so much!
Patricia – Texas
Living Kidney Donor
Carmilla- living kidney donor
My name is Carmilla. I donated my kidney to my mom 12-31-2012. Thank You for all of your support and assistance. You made it possible for me to focus solely on recovery and not rushing back to work. As a single mom, Working is very important to our survival.
Living Kidney Donor
Richard- living kidney donor
My name is Richard, I’m a recipient of the American Transplant Foundation’s Patient Assistance Program.
If it weren’t for programs like this, my situation would have been mentally and financially overwhelming. It allowed me to feel a certain amount of relief regarding my financial obligations and responsibilities.
When going through a major surgery process such as a living donor kidney transplant, the last thing one would want to do is to stress out over essential bills.
I want to thank the American Transplant Foundation for assisting me during my time of need and definitely feel that this Patient Assistance Program helped me tremendously!
Living Kidney Donor
Barry–living kidney donor
I would like to thank the American Transplant Foundation for helping me and my family.
Several years ago my mom was diagnosed with kidney disease. I told her then if she ever needed a kidney that I would donate mine to her. There was never a question as to whether or not I would.
Several years went by and it looked like a transplant was not going to be needed and so we all went on with our lives.
In November of 2012 I got engaged to an amazing woman, Carrie. She, with her 2 kids, and me, with my 2 kids, moved into a small apartment together and set a date for October 5, 2012 to join our 2 families together.
Only a few short months later my mom informed me that the transplant we thought she would not need was now needed. And needed soon.
I went through all the testing and was told I was a perfect match. So on July 30th; just 3 months before our wedding, we went for surgery at the Weill Cornell Medical Center NY Presbyterian Hospital in NYC.
One of my concerns was of course money. I am the main earner for our family of 6 and anticipating a month with no income was daunting. It took a toll on me and Carrie. Even though I applied for disability, I was told that can take weeks to process before seeing any money.
We found out about the American Transplant Foundation from the hospital and applied for help. We were ecstatic when we were told they would help us pay several of our bills so we would not have to worry. What you did for us took a lot of pressure off us and helped put us at ease so we could concentrate on recovery and our kids.
Going through all of this made me realize how much we need to rely on family and sometimes others for help. My mom is doing great now and we all couldn’t be happier. I also saw how amazing Carrie was during all this. From taking care of the house and bills, to taking care of me and our 4 kids, and of course taking care of me.
Thank you again for your help. Your Foundation is an amazing organization and I, as well as others, are lucky you are there to assist us.
Living Kidney Donor
Tanisha- heart transplant recipient
Grateful, Grateful, Grateful! This sums up how I feel about the American Transplant Foundation. During a difficult time when my husband was laid off and I lost my primary healthcare coverage, ATF stepped in and provided me with financial support to keep me ALIVE. I received my gift of a heart transplant in Dec 2006, since then, I have been able to live a normal life. I have two daughters who are 7 and 8 years old and I have been blessed to see them grow. I have been able to return to school and obtain not only a bachelors degree in rehabilitation but also a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. I am currently working as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the state of Georgia. I have continued to pay into Medicare so that I may keep my benefits but am currently in the “donut hole”. With the loss of my husband’s insurance from work when he was laid off, I was having to pay an astonishing amount for my medications monthly. With the financial blessing of ATF, I am now able to purchase my immunosuppressant medications to help sustain my life without having the stressful thoughts of how to purchase my medications each month. Thank you ATF for all you do and all you have done for my family and others.
Heart Transplant Recipient
Trena- heart transplant recipient
I am sending this card to say thanks for the funds you donated to my account to help with medication. You just don’t know how much I do appreciate it. I will never forget you guys. I still have joy. I call myself SWAT, Servant With A Testimony. I feel so much better. All I can say is look at God.
Jose- living kidney donor
The American Transplant Foundation was able to help Jose give the Gift of Life to his friend by providing critical financial assistance when nobody else would. After Jose’s wife unexpectedly lost her job, the family feared they would be unable to afford their monthly rent if Jose donated his kidney, like planned, the following week. Because Jose would receive no income during his recovery period, this family was in financial jeopardy and needed help.
Watch this video of Jose and his kidney recipient filmed on the morning of their surgery- just one day after being granted emergency financial assistance.
Jenna- living kidney donor
I would like to thank you for the transplant Patient Assistance Program grant you awarded me. It helped me out more than I can ever thank you for! Helping my brother out was never a question but your grant and foundation made it a lot easier and less stressful for me to give a kidney to him! From the bottom of my heart I thank you!
Living Kidney Donor
Eric- living kidney donor
Nearly two years ago I saw a story on the news about a man who donated his kidney to someone he didn’t even know. I don’t remember many details about the piece, but I do remember being moved, and resolving at that moment to do what I could to help improve the life of someone waiting for a kidney transplant. It was a long process, with a number of delays that were beyond the control of either the recipient or myself. When I started the process I was a grad student living on the east coast. When it was finally time to have the surgery, I was a new father holding down two jobs and living in Washington State. The logistics and financial landscape of the donation had changed significantly. While I remained committed to going forward with the donation despite the new circumstances, figuring out how to make it a reality became a challenge.
That is where the American Transplant Foundation came in. With the generous assistance of the ATF, virtually all of the expenses associated with the trip were covered. As a young family we didn’t have the extra resources to cover the travel and housing expenses on our own. The ATF’s support allowed me to follow through with the commitment I had made months before to the recipient, a wonderful young woman in New York City.
Today we are back in Washington State, and I have been able to move on with my family and work lives. The recipient, with whom I have stayed in contact, is doing well. When we met her family before we flew home, her father thanked me with tears in his eyes for having helped his daughter. While I am glad to have played a role in the process, the ATF deserves thanks as well. Without the support of the ATF I don’t know how I could have gone through with the entire process. Thanks to that support, the lives of two more families have been touched, and a special young woman is now making plans for moving forward with her life. So from all of us who have been part of this process, thank you.
Living Kidney Donor
Mike- living kidney donor
First, I would like to say that I am very glad and honored to have been a help to my friend and Pastor, Doug.
I wish to thank Jenny for being a help to me. She kept me informed, answering all questions and responding quickly. Thank you to all the good people at American Transplant Foundation for help with paying some of my bills. I am not able to work for 3 to 4 weeks so your help is greatly appreciated. I truly wish to say thank you to the executive director and the board of directors as well.
Living Kidney Donor
Oliver- living kidney donor
Thanks to the American Transplant Foundation I was able to donate a kidney to Ms. Norma. That kidney saved her life, but it gave me infinitely more. I developed a greater trust in the Lord, along with patience, compassion, and generosity. I know that those who donated funds to the American Transplant Foundation will reap the same blessings I did.
Living Kidney Donor
Anni- living kidney donor
My story starts with a very good friend of mine that I have known for several years. He had been on dialysis for 3 years and needed a kidney transplant. I knew very little about living donation, but I did know my recipient’s blood type. I donated blood to find out my type, and while waiting on the results, I researched and researched, and researched some more. The results came back, and I discovered that we were a blood type match. At that point, I was pretty familiar with the basic process and risks, so I secretly talked to his mom and sister about becoming a donor. They were thrilled, of course, and explained to me that his insurance would cover all of my medical expenses, but I would be responsible for my time off of work. I hadn’t even thought about the financial aspect of it! I didn’t have any savings, but I had some vacation time saved up, so I decided to proceed, knowing I’d make it work somehow.
We started with our tissue typing and crossmatch tests. We were delighted to find out we were compatible! Next came the testing for me, along with a visit to my social worker. She and I talked for a while, and when she told me about the financial assistance available through the American Transplant Foundation, I was ecstatic! Now I just had to make it through the health screening. When all the results were in, and the transplant committee had approved me as a donor, I applied and was approved for the financial assistance grant. I couldn’t believe it! Now I didn’t have to worry about money – the Foundation was going to pay my bills for the month! In addition, they would pay my bills directly, so I didn’t even have to worry about sending the payments out. I am so grateful for this grant – with it, I was able to focus on the donation and seeing my recipient get better, instead of worrying about how I was going to meet my financial obligations.
After surgery, the change in my recipient was AMAZING. His color returned the next day, and he seemed so full of life, even through the pain of the surgery. I cannot thank you enough for making this process as easy and stress-free as possible. This has truly been one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had the priviledge of being a part of. I am absolutely in awe of it all. As far as I’m concerned I am the lucky one, because I got the pleasure of giving such an amazing gift.
Thank you for all that you do!
Anni – Texas
Living Kidney Donor to Friend
Heather- participated in a living kidney donor swap
After receiving financial assistance from the American Transplant Foundation, Heather was able to save her son’s life by participating in a four-way kidney swap!
“Thank you for the financial assistance which you provided to me which allowed me to take place in a four-way kidney swap at Yale New Haven Hospital on January 31, 2013.
My son received a new kidney and I donated…what made it extra special??? A mother and daughter received and donated and a mother and son received and donated!”
Heather – Tennessee
Living Kidney Donor to Son
Tynequa- living kidney donor
In March of 2012, my family and I learned that my dad was in renal failure and his kidneys were only functioning at 5%. We all decided that we would get tested to be possible donors. I became the best candidate for the job. I began to feel quite nervous, as I’ve never had surgery before. So, I began my own research. I wanted to learn all about being a kidney donor and possible risks that my father and I may face. I don’t have any children and my decision to become a donor kept circling around that fact. I decided to put it in God’s hands and help my father. I knew it would be quite challenging due to the fact that I’m the sole financial provider of my household.
The American Transplant Foundation made it easier for me to go through with the procedure stress free. The Foundation agreed to take care of the cost of my rent for a month. I’m sure this will help with my recovery process. Just knowing that there’s one less bill I have to worry about. It allows me to be able to focus on my own as well as my father’s recovery without having to worry about financial issues. Our recoveries are the most important thing to me right now and I wouldn’t want anything to get in the way of our futures!
Thank you so much for your help!
Living Kidney Donor to Father
Darla- double lung transplant recipient
Thank you so much for helping me get my Diovan medication for December. My medication, which came as a result of your financial assistance, paid for my medication in the morning and there were no pills left for my evening dose. What a relief to have seen them that day! Please give the friends of the Foundation a special big hug and thanks from me.
I am a double lung transplant patients who for five years have just breezed along like nothing was ever wrong. And then my body rejected my lungs in September. At this time, they found some deadly fungus also, and because of the medications used to treat the rejection my heart went into AFIB. I ended up in and out of the hospital for 4 weeks.
It was a good holiday season and I am slowly getting back to my normal. I fell through the donuthole with Medicare, which has caused me a lot of trouble with money. I am back at my part-time job because I needed the money to put toward my medication bills.
When my VISA card arrived from the Tree of Life, I was so happy! I was then able to pickup two prescriptions that were waiting at the pharmacy.
Many heartfelt thanks,
Double Lung Transplant Recipient
Dawn – double lung and heart recipient
The Patient Assistance Program has made a tremendous difference in many people’s lives, including my Dawn’s.
On July 7th, Dawn received the precious Gift of Life – a heart and double lung transplant. Unable to work because of her health condition, Dawn was having trouble paying her insurance premiums. In 2012, Dawn received a $500 financial grant through the Patient Assistance Program. Because of this grant, she was able to pay her monthly insurance premium which ensures that she has access to anti-rejection medications that are vital to keeping her transplant. Dawn says she is so thankful for the Foundation’s commitment to helping transplant patients keep the organ that saved their life.
“I very grateful for the help I received from you. Assistance paying my insurance premiums gave me access to vital insurance coverage while my wife looked for employment and allowed us to save for future premiums payments. Thank you so much for everything that you did to help my family.”
-Thomas, a husband, father and heart recipient- Michigan
Jorge- living kidney donor to his son- Conneticut
Jorge’s eight-year old son, Osvaldo, was in dire need of a kidney. Osvaldo’s mother had already donated her kidney to her son when he was only two years old, making Jorge the only family member that could save their son’s life. Through the Patient Assistance Program, we were able to provide this family with rental assistance during Jorge’s recovery time to offset his unpaid time off- allowing him to give the Gift of Life to his precious son.
Pamela- living kidney donor to her sister- New Hampshire
“It’s been one week since I gave my kidney and I am feeling so strong! Not worrying about finances was such a relief. It meant that I could give my kidney to my sister without hesitation. Besides, my sister is SO hard to shop for- but pink is a great color (at least that’s what the transplant surgeon said), it accessorizes with everything (she’ll have to wear it everywhere) and is absolutely non refundable!” – Pamela
Pamela works 7-9 days straight maintaining her housekeeping business and spends the remainder of her time volunteering for her local search in rescue team in the White Mountains. Over the years, Pamela’s sister struggled with progressive kidney failure that left tethered to dialysis and in need of a lifesaving transplant. Pamela knew she would do anything to save her sister’s life, including donating her kidney. Her decision to donate was easy, “Because I can and I love my sister.”
Unfortunately, giving the Gift of Life would be mean going unpaid during her 4 week recovery period. In an effort to help save her sister’s life, the American Transplant Foundation provided financial assistance to cover Pamela’s mortgage for the month of her recover.
On November 12, 2012, Pamela gave her sister a lifesaving kidney.
Theresa- lung recipient- Pennsylvania
Theresa was gainfully employed until she went through some severe complications as a result of her double-lung transplant. After several hospitalizations she could not keep up with her monthly expenses, and Theresa was starting to lose hope. Her insurance premiums were one of the difficult expenses to meet. Luckily, we were able to step in and help Theresa with her medical premiums. She says the assistance helped take a huge weight off of her shoulders and now she can concentrate on her well-being and her 16-year-old son.
Christina- kidney recipient, struggling to keep her lifesaving insurance-
Christina, a successful businesswoman, was faced with harsh realities when she had to take a leave of absence from her employment to succumb to the long and painful process of dialysis until she received a kidney transplant in August. It was such an uncertain time in Christina’s life- the combination of dialysis and inability to work left her struggling to pay her medical insurance premiums and provide for her son. Her insurance coverage was at risk of being dropped if she did not pay her overdue premiums. Our Patient Assistance Program was able to pay Christina’s overdue premiums, allowing her to keep her insurance. Just a few weeks later, Christina was able to return to work to provide for her family!
A note from Christina:
Thank you so much for helping be during this time of true need! I truly appreciate it! These funds will help pay my overdue insurance premiums. Keeping my insurance is so important because I received a kidney transplant two months ago and maintaining my health is very important. Once again thank you!
Kevin and Florence- husband and wife, donor and recipient- Tennessee
“The generosity shown by the American Transplant Foundation alleviated the immense pressure I was feeling when I thought about how we were going to pay for our rent. Thank you for helping us when we needed it the most. You showed me the light at the end of the tunnel, and from then on I knew it was all going to work out.” – Kevin
Kevin and Florence met as youthful high school students. In the halls of their Cincinnati high school their lifelong love story began, and on August 15, 2012 Kevin gave his wife the priceless Gift of Life.
Kevin knew, with unwavering doubt, that he would do anything to save his wife’s life. Their 24 years of marriage had brought many trials, including Florence’s progressive kidney failure and loss of sight starting in 2008. After four years of dialysis, job losses and insurance changes, the family had experienced their fair share of ups and downs on the road to a lifesaving transplant.
Working for a manufacturing company in Tennessee, Kevin would be unable to work his physically demanding job for 4 to 6 weeks following his donation. Distressed, Kevin proactively began looking for assistance. Thankfully, his social worker at the University of Tennessee Transplant Center knew exactly who could help, the American Transplant Foundation!
Perhaps the saying – it takes a village to raise a child- applies to the journey of a transplant patient. In the case of Kevin and Florence, it certainly does. To all our donors, volunteers and supporters, thank you for being part of the village that helped Kevin give the Gift of Life to the love of his life.
View the full story here.
Carla- living donor to her husband- Coloardo
I am so happy that I was able to become a living donor for my husband! We are both so thankful for the help you gave us when we needed it most. It has been just over a year since the surgery and we are both doing good! We are grateful that there was a program out there to help us during this very difficult time in our lives. Without the American Transplant Foundation, we would not have been able to afford our rent and I could not have saved my husband’s life.
Thank you for all that you do,
Janet – kidney recipient, fighting a rejection episode- Pennsylvania
A kidney rejection episode is utterly overwhelming- both physically and financially.
Janet, a precious grandmother, underwent an immunosuppressive treatment that saved her life, but left her struggling financially. After defeating the rejection episode, Janet was afraid she wouldn’t be able to pay, her costly hospital bill within the two weeks she had been given. By granting her $500 in financial assistance, we were able to help free Janet of the looming medical bill.
This is what Janet had to say about the financial assistance she received:
Your foundation truly helped me. With all the co pays and insurance premiums- the bills were so outstanding. I had to have an IV treatment, which required that I be hooked up to IVs for 6 hours at the hospital three times a week for two weeks. I really could not afford to stay in Pittsburgh; therefore, I would leave at 3 in the morning, spend all day at the hospital, return home and have a day to rest before doing it all again.
Since my daughter’s husband passed away, I have helped her raise my sweet grandchildren- Savannah and Austin, who was four months old when his father died. My daughter kept saying that I needed to stay healthy and that I needed to find a way to pay for my medical infusion because she needed my help. I was wondering if I was ever going to be able to pay my medical bill. Without this assistance, I might not have been able to.
It’s truly amazing that ATF was willing to step in and help me. This financial grant is the only way that I could pay my medical bill. All I can say is a huge, huge thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the help that the Foundation gave me.
Again, thank you for your generosity and caring heart.
Tracey and Chris – sister and brother, donor and recipient
Porter Hospital, Denver, CO
In March, 2012, Tracey donated a kidney to her brother. Thanks to the Patient Assistance Program, Tracey did not have to worry about how she would cover her rent while recovering after the surgery. (Note: three weeks after the transplant, Tracey and her brother were looking great!)
“…knowing that someone was going to take care of rent really made this a lot easier. So thank you, thank you, thank you – I think my kidney likes it’s new home!” -Tracey
Marcella – wife of kidney recipient
Thank you for your support. Your kindness will never be forgotten. If ever you have an event in this area, please call on us as volunteers. Foundations like yours and people like you serve as a beacon of light in times of darkness for those like us who truly need help.
This is our story:
My husband was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1998 while working at a chemical plant. He soon developed liver damage and had to leave a lucrative job after 19 years. For two years he was treated for liver damage. Unfortunately, in 2003 he was diagnosed with end-of-stage kidney disease and started dialysis in 2003, 5 hours a day, 3 days a week. Wanting to be able to find part-time work and do dialysis proved difficult. In 2006, he was employed part-time at a local community college as an Instructor. He was able to get classes that allow him to work before or after his dialysis treatments. Before he could be placed on the transplant list, he was required to have multiple surgeries to replace both knees. He was finally placed on the transplant list in 2010 and got his transplant in January 2011.
It has been hard financially, because he was not able to return to work for the extra income that we so desperately need. It has been so long since we have been able to travel, or even enjoy ourselves due to the long term debilitating illnesses. But we have promise of a brighter tomorrow because of his kidney transplant, and know that one day soon we will be able to do some of the things that we were not able to do before.
Thank you again and again,
Patricia, liver transplant recipient
Piedmont Transplant Institute, Atlanta, GA
Dear American Transplant Foundation,
Thank you so much for your greatly appreciated grant to assist me with my COBRA payments. I underwent a liver transplant last year. I am in my 60s and a single mother of two young adults in their 20s.
I haven’t had the smoothest recovery and currently, I am on disability. From the bottom of my heart, I am thankful for your generosity to assist me in keeping my health insurance that provides access to lifesaving medication.
Patricia Cee Lane
David, liver transplant recipient
Johns Hopkins Hospital,Baltimore,MD
When Anastasia called me and gave me the wonderful news I was truly speechless!! Hope we can get my hubby back to work soon.. but in the meantime, we would like to thank you so very much for your great support and kindness!! It was so helpful to get assistance with David’s monthly insurance premium. Thank you for ALL you have done – including working with the insurance company to reinstate our insurance after a glitch in the system. We are on track now.