Emily Progin, Content Manager
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COMMUNITY SUPPORTING LOCAL WOMAN WHO GOT NEW LUNGS IN JULY
Thanks to the Gift of Life and Fundraising, “Now I Can Finish Writing My Own Story”
DUNCANNON, Pa.—On July 14, 58-year-old Laurie Gerow received an incredible gift: a life-saving double lung transplant to fight COPD. Today, as she celebrates the gift of life, her Duncannon community is rallying to help fund the immense out-of-pocket costs associated with transplantation through a fundraising campaign with the nonprofit Help Hope Live.
In 2019, Laurie’s health took a dire turn as she was diagnosed with COPD. She experienced multiple hospitalizations and intubations between 2019 and 2021, and she began living with a trach tube full-time to stay alive and breathing. By 2022, Laurie was living with stage 4 COPD—considered the “final stage” of the deadly diagnosis.
Throughout her journey, Laurie committed to the hard work of fighting for her health. She pursued regular rehabilitation and maintained her independence as much as possible, continuing to drive, spend time in the community, and support her children and grandchildren. “I stayed positive and productive,” explained Laurie. She even lost over 60 pounds to help get her one step closer to qualifying for a life-changing double lung transplant.
In June 2023, she was finally accepted to join the transplant waiting list at UPMC Pittsburg. Little did Laurie know the gift of new life was just one month away.
Preparing for a double lung transplant involves taking on an enormous financial burden. A typical double lung transplant costs over $1.3 million, and insurance never covers every expense. In Laurie’s case, out-of-pocket costs would include three months of temporary relocation to her transplant center, medical travel, and pricey anti-rejection medications.
That’s why her support community started a fundraising campaign with the trusted national nonprofit Help Hope Live at: https://helphopelive.org/campaign/20706
Laurie is prepared to maintain her fight for life and hope: ”I want to continue to watch my grandchildren grow up, and finish writing my own story. Fundraising provides such a relief so that I can focus on my recovery and not be a financial burden on my family.”
Unlike a GoFundMe campaign, donations to Help Hope Live are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and all funds raised will be managed by the nonprofit to cover verified medical and related expenses. Help Hope Live verifies medical and financial need for every patient.
Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in secure, tax-deductible 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 $172 million to pay patient expenses. ###Written by Emily Progin