Help, Un-Break My Heart for 2018!
(Yes, it is corny to use a Toni Braxton song title, but it did get your attention.)
Hello, I’m Ovuke Emonina McCoy. At 43 years old, I am awaiting a life-saving heart transplant. I was diagnosed with inherited hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in the early 2000s. Since that time, heart related illnesses have necessitated many trips to the ER and hospitalizations.
HCM runs in my immediate family with my mother and two brothers also having the disease. Unfortunately, one of my brothers passed away at 34 years old in 2011 while awaiting a transplant. My mother received her wonderful gift of a heart in 1995, so I am not new to the heart transplant world. I have seen firsthand how precious this gift can be, but I did not expect it for myself at this time in my life.
In January 2018, less than a month after getting married, my cardiologist referred me for a heart transplant evaluation. Since getting the news of needing a new heart, the love of life, my husband, Marvin has been very supportive. He has definitely lived up to the “in sickness and in health” marriage vow in the short time we have been married.
I have been blessed with a wonderful life. I was raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and currently reside in the Birmingham Metro Area. As an active community member, I have been involved with Church of the Highlands, Psi Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Junior League of Birmingham. I have received enjoyment from working with middle school girls through leadership activities, leading a women’s prayer small group, and organizing events. I also enjoy walking my dog Rocket, watching Alabama Football- ROLL TIDE ROLL, capturing images in nature, and cooking from scratch.
Since the progression of my disease, I have not been as active or able to enjoy these activities as I would like. I pray and desire for a better quality of life. My faith in God sustains me and I continue to be involved in church to serve others. Although I am slowing down, I take one day at a time by living life to the fullest. God has a way to slow you down to see who HE really is. “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord – Psalms 27:14”.
As I await “the call” that a donor heart is available, I work hard to stay healthy. I attend appointments, testing, and procedures with the Advanced Heart Failure Team at the UAB Kirklin Clinic. These visits will continue until the time of transplant and beyond. There is a growing need for financial help that will only increase. Even with insurance, I face significant out-of-pocket expenses. Surgical costs, post-transplant care, and needed medications will be very costly.
As challenging as it is to ask for help, I am sharing my story because I need your support. I cannot do this alone.
Donations to Help Hope Live can help ease the financial burden of a transplant and will allow me to focus on a healthy recovery alongside my family and friends. Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in fundraising campaigns for people who need a transplant or are affected by a catastrophic injury or illness. Since 1983, campaigns organized by Help Hope Live have raised over $131 million to pay patient expenses.
Make a donation right now by selecting the GIVE button. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and all funds raised will be used to offset medical expenses as part of the Help Hope Live Southeast Transplant Fund.
Please visit my Help Hope Live website for updates and information pertaining to any upcoming fundraisers. Leave a message on my guest book so I know you were there! I also invite you to visit my caringbridge page: www.caringbridge.org
With my new heart, I have so many life goals that I plan to accomplish. I am extremely grateful for your financial support, words of encouragement, and prayers!
Ovuke Emonina McCoy
For more information on the following:
United Network of Organ Sharing
UAB Transplant Program
UAB Heart Transplant
Alabama Organ Center- Donate Life
March 26, 2018
It was a rough week but I made it!
It is challenging with this disease to make any commitments. I was proud that I was able to make it to work for 5 straight days. It is not always the cause. I am just trying to stay my healthiest and keep my body moving. I rest when I need to. But having a new heart would make this so much easier.
April 17, 2018
Much Sisterly Love, & Support! Love you, Lillie
Mail a Check
Make checks payable to:
Help Hope Live
Note in memo:
In honor of Ovuke Emonina McCoy
Help Hope Live
2 Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonford Road
Radnor, PA 19087