UPDATE: Cathryn received her transplant on August 19, 2013 and is on the road to recovery. Cathryn and her family greatly appreciate your continued support!
Dear Friends and Family,
I am writing this on behalf of my beautiful wife, Cathryn Sellers, also known as Cathy to some of you. She needs a heart transplant and needs your help to make it happen.
Cathryn was born with a complex congenital heart condition and has struggled with it her whole life. She’s had multiple heart surgeries, and over the past couple of years she has been struggling with heart failure. In spite of all of this, she is an amazing person and has inspired so many through her various roles as a loving wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, teacher, boss and advocate for those in need. She has had an amazing career as an educator, and helper of others, doing everything from producing and directing plays, teaching science, working to help families and students with disabilities to reach their goals, and finally reaching her goal as an educational administrator!
Unfortunately, Cathryn has been unable to work for over a year and half. Over the past six months, especially, her condition has deteriorated significantly. We have finally exhausted all of the medical resources and the doctors have determined that Cathryn needs a heart transplant in order to survive. They are hoping that they can get her a “new” heart before too much damage has been done to her liver. She is required to move to Atlanta while she waits for a heart at Emory University Hospital, as she has to be able to get to the hospital in less than three hours. She must also stay there for many months after she gets her new heart.
We have been asked by so many of you, “How can we help?” Up until now meals, rides, a push in the wheelchair to events, places to stay while out of town, dog sitting, Hannah sitting, friendship and prayers have gotten us through! Obviously you know we still need that support but we have reached a new level of need.
Although Cathryn currently has health insurance, there are many uninsured expenses, such as high COBRA payments, costly transplant medications (thousands of dollars a month for the rest of her life), relocation costs to Atlanta while Cathryn waits for her new heart, as well as post-transplant follow-up trips to Emory.
To help alleviate this financial burden, a fundraising campaign in Cathryn’s honor has been established with HelpHOPELive, a nonprofit organization that has been assisting the transplant community for 30 years.
All donations are tax-deductible, are held by HelpHOPELive in the Southeast Heart Transplant Fund, and are administered by HelpHOPELive for uninsured transplant-related expenses only. Any contribution is greatly appreciated.For more information, please contact HelpHOPELive at 800.642.8399.
This great organization helps families like ours by providing help for our friends and family with coordinating fundraising activities. If you are interested in hosting a fund-raising event, please contact us.
Your prayers, continued support and contributions are greatly appreciated and will help Cathryn survive this unbelievable challenge, and return to her to her productive life as soon as possible.
With much love and appreciation,
Ford (Frodo) Sellers
December 14, 2014
Friends and Family,
We are happy to report that Cathryn is making incredible progress. She is stronger and “living” more everyday!
They say that the first year is difficult and for us that was true in all aspects.
Physically she had two more significant surgeries. She had a complicated abdominal hernia repair after a strangulation that turned quickly to pancreatitis and her kidneys shutting down. Then she had CMV for over 6 months (just cleared in September. ) She developed a form heart failure that required an emergency stent in June. Her bloodwork has still not totally stabilized and they are still working adjusting medications due to many serious side effects.
Emotionally it has been a roller coaster. Just when we think its over we seem to go backwards, upside down or it starts all again!
Cathryn continues her never ending positive outlook, trying to work toward the next goal. For its being self reliant and going back to work.
Financially the hits have been hard. We ended up travelling and staying Atlanta much more frequently. Which meant loss of pay. Cathryn’s insurance has ended and her new insurance has a very high deductible and out of pocket limit. Plus all her medications have increased in cost
If you are considering “Giving Tuesday” or looking to donate before the years end, please consider donating through Hope Help Live (Cathryn Sellers account). Every little bit helps! Remember its tax deductable and 97% goes directly to cover her uncovered medical expenses.
October 27, 2013
Praying for you and your family
October 8, 2013
Cathryn and family, you do not know us, but we are friends of friends from Trumansburg, NY. We learned of your condition recently and wanted you to know that we are thinking of you and sending our strength to help you get through this tough time.
Brian and Kelly (Buffalo, NY)
October 8, 2013
Cathryn and Ford and Family - We are wishing you well! Alice has been keeping us updated, and we hope that this all works out for the best for you all. I recently had my own scare and thought I needed open-heart surgery for a valve, but it turned out not to be the case. I am being treated with medication and still need to get into a normal rhythm (but what else is new), but overall do okay. Take care! Love from the Kraus Family -- Jerry, Lori, Jeremy, Tyler, and Meghan.
October 8, 2013
Cathryn, We all know you are a fighter.....so knock this one out of the park! We are "riding the bench" right behind you. Penny, Greg, Julia, Vivienne and Charlie Woodward