April

20

Local Young Woman Awaits Stem Cell Transplant

Posted Apr 20th, 2016 by Evelyn Cherry  Category: Community Interest

 

 

Local young woman awaits stem cell transplant

Toledo, Oh., April 18, 2016 – Katie Holtgrieve, age 26,  is awaiting a life changing stem cell transplant, as she suffers from an aggressive form of relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

In 2011, as a student at BGSU she began experiencing weakness on her right side and vision and sensory changes, and she knew something wasn’t right. After a visit with her doctor and multiple tests, she was diagnosed with MS. She has not been responsive to traditional treatments and her disease has entered the stage called Secondary Progressive MS. In the last two years, she has not regained strength and function once they are lost. Many patients live decades with the disease before experiencing permanent losses. At 26, she is already suffering major disabilities, requiring a wheelchair, help with dressing, and she has had to give up driving and working.

Despite dealing with more than most of us could imagine, Katie is the most positive and upbeat person as she has always been. She has a megawatt smile on her face, and assures everyone, including her parents, that it will all work out.

Holtgrieve has the opportunity to have a stem cell transplant using her own stem cells. It should arrest the progression of the disease. It may help her walk better again, and should allow her to keep the functions she still has. It is her last hope as every conventional treatment has not worked for her. This treatment will cost in excess of $100,000 and is not covered by insurance, nor is the cost of travel for herself and a caregiver to and from Chicago’s Northwestern Hospital for the treatment over 9 weeks.

To overcome these financial challenges, Holtgrieve and her family 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. A group of volunteers is helping Holtgrieve fundraise and plan events in the community, including benefit dinners, a bike run, and a corn-hole tournament in the next two months.

Community members are encouraged to attend a Soup Benefit Dinner, at Little Flower Catholic Church at 5522 Dorr Street in Toledo on Friday, April 29 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Admission is by donation, and all the proceeds will go to NFT in honor of Holtgrieve. Along with dinner, there will be a 50/50 raffle, a bake sale and many donated items to be raffled, including gift cards and baskets.

For more information, contact Evelyn Cherry at ejcherry@gmail.com or 419-708-0974.

To make a donation in honor of Holtgrieve, please mail a tax-deductible gift to the NFT Tennessee Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write “in honor of Katie Holtgrieve” in the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online at www.transplants.org. Donors should select Find an NFT Patient to locate Holtgrieve.

About NFT

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 29 years, NFT has helped generate nearly $60 million to assist patients with their expenses.

NFT currently assists more than 2,500 transplant candidates and recipients nationwide. For more information about NFT, please call 800-489-3863 or visit www.transplants.org.

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Evelyn Cherry - National Foundation for Transplants

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