Finding Financial Assistance for a Lung Transplant

Nothing should overshadow a second chance at life but the costs associated with a lung transplant are staggering. From the procedure to the medical support involved with recovery, a lung transplant can represent a significant financial burden.

Fortunately, financial assistance for lung transplant patients does exist. Fundraising can provide hope for patients in need of financial help after a transplant.

Reasons for a Lung Transplant

A lung transplant may be recommended for individuals who have severe lung disease or respiratory failure that cannot be managed with other treatments. Some common reasons for a lung transplant include:

  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Emphysema

In general, a lung transplant is considered when a person’s lung function has severely declined, and the patient’s symptoms are affecting their daily life activities. A thorough medical evaluation is necessary to determine if a lung transplant is a viable option for an individual based on their medical history and overall health condition.

How Much Does a Lung Transplant Cost?

According to a January 2020 Milliman Research Report, the estimated cost of a single lung transplant in the United States before insurance is $929,600. The typical costs for a lung transplant are are follows.

  • Pre-transplant medical care needs (30 days): $32,100
  • Organ procurement: $110,100
  • Hospital admission for transplant: $523,700
  • Physician cost for transplant: $55,100
  • Post-transplant medical care needs (180 days): $165,300
  • Immunosuppressants and other medications: $43,300

Additional Expense Considerations for a Lung Transplant

Beyond the surgery are plenty of additional expenses that patients must keep in mind. Many transplant centers have policies requiring that potential transplant recipients prove they can fund the medical costs of a transplant before they can join the waiting list for an organ.

Some of the additional costs that patients and families must consider include:

  • Health insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-pays
  • Pre-transplant medications
  • Unexpected pre-transplant hospitalizations
  • Medical travel and temporary lodging while you are being listed for transplant
  • Medical travel and temporary lodging when you receive the transplant
  • Relocation or moving expenses due to the transplant
  • Mileage, tolls, and parking fees for transplant-related medical travel
  • Caregiver costs, including lost work

How Much Does a Lung Transplant Cost with Insurance?

Most health insurance policies will cover some of the cost of a lung transplant. Unfortunately, medical insurance DOES NOT cover 100% of the expenses associated with a lung transplant. That is why lung transplant fundraising is essential for so many patients.

Types of Lung Transplants

There are two main types of lung transplants:

  1. Single Lung Transplant: In a single lung transplant, one diseased lung is replaced with a healthy lung from a donor.
  2. Double Lung Transplant: In a double lung transplant, both lungs are replaced with healthy lungs from a donor.

In some cases, a heart-lung transplant may be performed, where both the heart and lungs are transplanted at the same time. The type of transplant recommended will depend on the specific medical needs and condition of the patient.

Financial Help Is Here

One solution that can provide financial assistance for lung transplant is fundraising. Help Hope Live is a nonprofit organization that allows lung transplant patients and their friends and family members to raise money for medical costs.

How Does Lung Transplant Fundraising Work?

Fundraising with our nonprofit works as follows:

  1. Submit a campaign request for assistance at
  2. You’ll be paired with a Client Services Coordinator
  3. Your Coordinator will provide you with one-on-one fundraising help, including personalized fundraising materials and guidance on how to rally your community, share your story on social media, reach out to the press, plan in-person or virtual fundraising events, and much more

How Is Help Hope Live Different from GoFundMe?

Help Hope Live differs from GoFundMe by:

  • Verifying your medical need for complete donor confidence
  • Enabling tax-deductible donations
  • Providing one-on-one fundraising help
  • Managing all funds raised to protect your state-based benefits (funds raised are not considered personal income/assets to you)

We are a nonprofit with over 30 years of transplant fundraising experience and a 4-star Charity Navigator rating.

Does Fundraising Work?

Here are a few Help Hope Live fundraising success stories:

Lung transplant landing page banner

"This is a wonderful journey that couldn't have been possible without the support from my friends, family and co-workers and acquaintances."

John Miller needed a lung transplant following multiple lung issues that deteriorated his health and quality of life. Fundraising with Help Hope Live filled the gaps with transplant-related costs, such as medical travel, temporary relocation, and immunosuppressant medications estimated to exceed $10,000 during his first year post-transplant. His Help Hope Live campaign raised almost $23,000 in just six months. John recognized five months since his lung transplant in July 2021.

"We're excited to pass along the hope for an incredible and fulfilling life regardless of the circumstance."

Music teacher Josh Sarchet received the gift of life through a lung transplant following a diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Fundraising was central to his lung transplant journey, covering costs such as temporary relocation to begin his post-transplant recovery process. Josh and his wife, Laura, updated the community weekly on his progress and the impact of fundraising on Josh’s Campaign Page. Today, Josh and Laura are Help Hope Live Brand Ambassadors who help other transplant families connect to their communities for financial and emotional support.

"If I could give one word of advice to a pre-transplant patient, it would be Help Hope Live."

Rachelle Ledbetter received a lung transplant in 2021 after a multi-year wait. Rachelle and her family thanked their support community for their donations as well as their prayers, calls, texts, and ongoing assistance. Today, Rachelle is a dedicated Brand Ambassador for Help Hope Live.


Pre-transplant medical care needs
Organ procurement
Hospital admission for transplant
Physician cost for transplant
Post-transplant medical care needs
Immunosuppressants and other medications


Ready to Get Started?

If you choose to fundraise with our nonprofit, here’s how the process will look:

1. APPLY for assistance

2. YOU’LL BE PAIRED with a Client Services Coordinator

3. YOUR COORDINATOR will provide you with one-on-one fundraising help, including personalized fundraising materials and guidance on how to rally your community, share your story on social media, reach out to the press, plan in-person or virtual fundraising events, and more.

Need Other Financial Help Options?

For alternatives to fundraising, you can find information on a variety of lung transplant financial assistance options. Please view our Transplant Resource Directory for insight into sources of direct financial aid, support groups, and other resources for lung transplant patients and their families.