Emily Progin, PR and Communications Coordinator
[email protected] / 800.642.8399
SATURDAY: MAN THANKS COMMUNITY FOR HELPING HIM FIND WIFE’S KIDNEY DONOR
He’s Holding a Sign of a Different Kind: “Thank You! We Found a Kidney”
HAMILTON, Ohio—This Saturday, January 16 from 11 a.m. to 12 noon at Bridgewater Falls shopping center (3385 Princeton Road, Hamilton, OH 45011), you’ll see a familiar figure standing on the corner: Aaron Thorn, who went viral for holding up a “Need Kidney 4 My Wife” sign to passing traffic for weeks to help his wife, Keli, look for a life-saving kidney donor. This time, he will be holding a very different sign: “Thank You! We Found a Kidney.”
Aaron and Keli Thorn have new hope for the future thanks to Cheyenne Frapier, a woman in Pittsburgh who will donate her kidney to save Keli’s life on February 2.
“I really just need to say thank you to all the people who have been a part of this journey with us,” said Aaron. “It is a crazy journey. You can truly get lost in all of this chaos. We couldn’t do it alone.”
In October, the Thorns received a life-changing call to tell them a potential living kidney donor had stepped forward. Cheyenne saw Aaron and Keli’s story on the news. Immediately, she felt compelled to get involved, so she reached out to Keli’s local hospital to learn about the process of becoming a donor.
Cheyenne felt that saving Keli’s life with a kidney donation would be a fitting tribute to her loving parents, who had passed away—a way to give back.
It’s been a long and harrowing road for Aaron and Keli. In addition to Keli’s fight against kidney failure, which includes four hours of dialysis three days per week to stay alive, Aaron has dealt with health concerns of his own. He survived five strokes in June 2019.
COVID-19 brought with it greater threats to Keli’s health—Aaron says they have mostly remained at home since the pandemic began. Both have struggled to maintain a sense of normalcy for their four children, the youngest of whom is just 11 years old. The transplant represents an indescribable gift: hope for their future.
In addition to covering the Thorns with emotional support, the community has stepped forward to provide financial support during a time of overwhelming need. Last year, donors rallied to raise $4,300 to cover a critical medical bill. In January, a donor contributed $5,000 to the campaign—the full amount of Keli’s deductible for the year.
The Thorns are continuing to fundraise for critical transplant expenses with the trusted, secure, and medically verified nonprofit Help Hope Live at https://helphopelive.org/campaign/16947/
Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. All donations will be managed entirely by the nonprofit, and funds raised will be used to cover medical costs via Help Hope Live’s Great Lakes Transplant Fund. Donations can also be made by calling 800-642-8399 or by check (instructions are on Keli’s Help Hope Live page).
“Keli works her behind off, day in and day out, to provide for our crazy, wonderful family. She has been the rock that holds her family together. With help from fundraising and the support of this community, we can’t wait to finally give Keli the chance of a healthy life.”
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 $135 million to pay patient expenses. ###Written by Emily Progin