Geri needs your help now more than ever!
Geri Whalen, a mother of three, needs her third transplant in 3 years to survive and you can help!
Geri Whalen is once again fighting for her life. Geri was diagnosed with diabetes when she was just 9 years old. She’s fought this disease and its complications her whole life, but she hasn’t let it define her. Geri and her best friend, Adam, have been married for 15 years, and they have three wonderful children—Eve, Elle and Ian—who mean the world to them both. She wants nothing more than to feel like herself again and be there for her children.
On January 16, 2013, Geri received a kidney transplant from her sister, Dana. In December of the same year, she received a new pancreas, which meant she was no longer suffering from diabetes. Sadly, her pancreas went into rejection and she lost the organ in December of 2014. The loss of the pancreas put a great deal of strain on the kidney, and a little over a year later the kidney rejected as well. It’s been a difficult struggle to say the least. She began hemodialysis but ended up in the ICU when she contracted sepsis and the infection went to her heart. They then began peritoneal dialysis, but when that stopped working Geri found herself once again in the ICU fighting for her life.
Doctors now feel that another dual kidney/pancreas transplant is too risky for Geri. She is listed for a kidney transplant, but the average wait time for a kidney is three years. Geri just doesn’t have that kind of time. There is an urgent, desperate need to find a living donor. Unfortunately, the endocrine issues that played a role in Geri’s illness from the beginning run deep in her family and there are no more blood relatives to be tested to be a living donor. Geri’s best hope for life comes from finding a generous person outside of her family who can give her the gift of life. If you are interested in being tested for finding out more information, please contact the Allegheny Health Network’s Living Donor Program at (412) 359-4579.
The costs of the kidney transplant surgery itself are only the beginning. Even with health coverage, she still faces significant medical expenses related to the transplant. She will need a lifetime of follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. These medications are very pricey and are as critical to her survival as the transplant itself. Geri will also need to raise money to cover the expenses of a living donor, if one is found. Geri has been unable to work since January and Adam has missed a great deal of work caring for Geri during this time. All of this adds to the financial strain they are under.
You can help by making a tax-deductible donation to NFT in honor of Geri. If you'd prefer to send your gift by mail, please send it to the NFT Pennsylvania Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Avenue, Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write "in honor of Geri Whalen" on the memo line.
Thank you for your generosity!
Patient Health Institute: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
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