In 2010, while on vacation, Arthur Lopez, 53, began experiencing swelling and extreme fatigue. Upon returning home, he visited his doctor and was shocked to be diagnosed with stage-four nonalcoholic cirrhosis of the liver. Doctors say a liver transplant is essential to his survival, and he has been on the transplant waiting list for more than a year.
Currently, nearly 115,000 Americans are awaiting lifesaving transplants, including 20,765 patients in Calif. There are 3,158 Calif. residents are awaiting liver transplants, and Lopez is one of them. The average liver transplant costs approximately $575,000. Even with health coverage, Lopez 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. Post-transplant medications are very costly, and they are as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.
Lopez lives nearly 100 miles from the hospital, so he and his wife, Donna, will have to temporarily relocate for the transplant and recovery, incurring significant travel and lodging expenses. Because of his declining health, Arthur is unable to working, adding to the financial strain.
To help alleviate the financial burden, Lopez turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance with some of these financial burdens. NFT is a nonprofit organization that helps patients raise funds to pay for transplant-related expenses.
“At NFT, we understand the stress Arthur and his family are dealing with,” said Kay Horne, NFT fundraising consultant, “Not only is he battling a debilitating illness, but he also has soaring medical expenses related to his lifesaving care. We want to help him raise the necessary funds so he can focus on his health without worrying about the finances.”
Community members are encouraged to attend Give Back Night at Chili’s, 3401 Dale Rd. in Modesto, on Tuesday, Sept. 11. That evening, a portion of the restaurant’s proceeds will go to NFT to assist with Lopez’s medical expenses.
Diners must present a flyer to be counted in the evening’s sales in honor of Lopez. For more information or to obtain a flyer, please contact Fonda Lawrence at email@example.com or 209-241-7398.
To make a tax-deductible donation in honor of Lopez, please send a contribution to the NFT California Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write “in honor of Arthur Lopez” on the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online at www.transplants.org. Donors should click “Find an NFT Patient” to locate Lopez.