Benefit for Norma Vanessa Carrera to help fund kidney transplant
By Joe McGehee
Saturday, Nov. 21, The Image will host a benefit for 26-year-old Norma Vanessa Carrera to raise funds to help battle the significant medical costs associated with kidney transplant surgery. Carrera has been waiting for six-and-a-half years for an A+ kidney, which would be her second kidney transplant in 13 years.
“All the money raised at the event will go towards paying for medical bills, gas and transportation to and from various treatment facilities,” said Carrera. “Outside of all the money we are spending on treatments and other medical bills, the cost for transportation has now become harder to afford.”
Carrera received her first kidney transplant at the age of 13, then underwent the recovery process and dialysis treatments while living the life of a normal high-schooler. Though the recovery from her first transplant was daunting, Carrera has noticed a gradual weakening of her body as these health issues have persisted into her mid-20s.
“The first transplant was hard because I was going to high school and going through dialysis treatments at the same time,” said Carrera.
“As I’ve gotten older, these treatments have gotten harder on me,” Carrera added. “I’ve gotten so much weaker in the past few months. My body hasn’t given up on me, but it’s become much more of a physical and emotional struggle to cope with all this.”
After receiving her second transplant, Carrera and her family will have to commute round-trip from Rockford to Chicago daily for treatments. Though the amount of travel will gradually decrease, affording a ride to receive the necessary treatments has become a very real concern.
“Hopefully, enough will be raised so that my family and I aren’t wondering where gas money is going to come from,” said Carrera. “Not having to worry about that would take a huge load off the shoulders of my family.”
The Image is at 5524 Auburn St., and doors open at 3 p.m. Admission for the event is $8 and includes a choice of dinner entree. There will be 50/50 drawings and several other drawings throughout the day, as well as a mini karaoke contest.
Donations can be received at AMCORE Bank, account number 9802891047. Or, all checks can be made payable to Norma Vanessa Carrera with the words “Kidney Transplant Account” in the memo line.
From the November 18-24, 2009 issue
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