Christine Curti, a 49-year-old West Pasco woman, was born with only one kidney, and now that kidney is failing. Doctors say a kidney transplant is essential to her survival.
The average kidney transplant, however, costs about $250,000, according to Emily Joyner, director of communications for the National Foundation for Transplants. Based in Memphis, Tenn., the nonprofit organization helps patients raise funds toward expenses.
To help Curti with what are expected to be big medical bills not fully covered by insurance, volunteers are planning local fundraisers the next two Sundays.
"My heart goes out to Christine," said Laura Hughes, NFT fundraising consultant. "Often people don't realize how expensive a transplant can be. At NFT, we're dedicated to helping Christine raise the necessary funds so she can focus on living a happy and healthy life, not worrying about soaring medical expenses."
When she receives her transplant, Curti and her husband, Kevin, must temporarily relocate more than 100 miles from their home to be near the transplant center for up to six weeks. That means expenses for travel, food, lodging and missed time at work.
And that's only the beginning, Hughes said. Even with health insurance coverage, Curti still faces significant expenses related to the surgery. For the rest of her life, she will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications, which are as critical to her survival as the transplant itself.
To make a tax-deductible donation in honor of Curti, send a contribution to the NFT Florida Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Write "in honor of Christine Curti" on the check's memo line.
Secure donations can be made online at www.transplants.org. Donors should click on "Find an NFT Patient" to locate Curti.