Kings Mountain native needs lung transplant

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Kings Mountain native Terri Mullis deBruin needs a lifesaving lung transplant, and volunteers are planning a spaghetti supper to help with the expenses.

In 2004, deBruin first noticed troubling symptoms, such as redness and swelling in her hands. She saw a rheumatologist and was later diagnosed with systemic scleroderma, an autoimmune disease causing her immune system to attack her body, especially her lungs. Doctors say a lung transplant is her only hope.

A lung transplant costs approximately $450,000. Even with health insurance, deBruin faces significant medical expenses. For the rest of her life, she will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. The cost of post-transplant medications can range from $2,000 to $5,000 per month, and they are as critical to her survival as the transplant itself.

Once she receives her transplant, she must temporarily relocate more than 200 miles from her home to be closer to the transplant center in Pittsburgh, adding to her financial strain.

To overcome these financial challenges, deBruin turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance. NFT is a nonprofit organization that helps transplant patients raise funds to pay for transplant-related expenses.

Friends and family are planning a spaghetti supper Saturday, July 31 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at David Baptist Church, 2300 David Baptist Church Rd. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children 6 and younger and includes spaghetti, salad, bread, dessert, tea and water.
For more information, please call Tiffany Mullis at 704-300-9989.

To make a donation in honor of deBruin, please mail a tax-deductible gift to the NFT Delaware Lung Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write “in honor of Terri deBruin” in the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online at www.transplants.org. Donors should click on “Patients We Help” to locate deBruin.

NFT is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Memphis, Tenn. that has been helping transplant patients overcome financial obstacles since 1983. NFT provides fundraising expertise and advocacy to transplant patients by organizing fundraising campaigns in the patients’ own communities. In the past 27 years, NFT has helped generate more than $56 million to assist patients with their expenses.

NFT currently assists more than 1,000 transplant candidates and recipients nationwide. For more information about NFT, please call 800-489-3863 or visit www.transplants.org.

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