Asheville, N.C., April 18, 2012 – Norman Lillie is fighting for his life. In 2008, he was diagnosed with a life-threatening liver disease. Doctors say a liver transplant is critical to his survival, but he faces significant expenses. Volunteers are holding a car wash Saturday to help. In the event of rain, the event will be held Saturday, April 28.
Despite his health challenges, this U.S. military veteran relies on his strong faith and the steadfast support of his family and friends to remain optimistic. Lillie, 60, looks forward to returning to his normal way of life and spending many more years with his four children, 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. An avid outdoorsman and musician, he loves to fish, garden and play the guitar and harmonica when his health allows. He hopes to one day be well enough to volunteer in the community and create more happy memories with his family.
The average liver transplant costs approximately $500,000. Even with health coverage, Lillie faces considerable medical expenses related to his transplant. For the rest of his life, he will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. The cost of his post-transplant medications can range from $2,000 to $5,000 per month, and they are as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.
When he receives his transplant, Lillie will have to relocate more than 250 miles from his home to be near the hospital for at least three weeks, incurring substantial expenses for travel, food and lodging.
To help offset these expenses, Lillie turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance. NFT is a nonprofit organization that helps patients raise funds to pay for transplant-related expenses.
“Having a serious illness is terrifying on its own,” said Lauren Wilmer, NFT fundraising consultant, “but when you factor in the tremendous expenses, it’s very overwhelming for many transplant patients. NFT is committed to helping Norman raise the necessary funds so he can concentrate on his health without constantly worrying about the costs.”
Volunteers are holding a car wash Saturday, April 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Firestone Complete Auto Care in the Innsbrook Shopping Center, 85 Tunnel Rd. There is no set cost per car, but donations are strongly encouraged and appreciated. Volunteers from Safe Haven for Men, New Liberty Baptist Church and the YMCA will wash the cars. A rain date is scheduled for Saturday, April 28 at the same location and time.
For more information, please contact Eddie Watson at 828-245-4643.
To make a tax-deductible gift in honor of Lillie, please send a contribution to the NFT North Carolina Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write “in honor of Norman Lillie” on the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online at www.transplants.org. Donors should click on “Find an NFT Patient” to locate Lillie.
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. NFT’s fundraising campaigns have generated nearly $60 million to assist patients.
NFT 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.