By Michelle Caceras
While FishHawk resident and kidney transplant patient Devon Carver waits patiently for the phone call with the good news that a much-needed kidney is available, there are some things that don’t require a wait: hospital bills.
Carver, diagnosed with juvenile diabetes as a child that has irrevocably damaged her kidneys, has amassed more than $150,000 in unpaid medical bills. Co-payments for her necessary prescriptions, which both treat her symptoms and ease her constant pain, total more than $1,000 per month.
Carver, a 34-year-old wife and mother, received a kidney/pancreas transplant in 2010 but her body rejected the kidney and now she finds herself back on the transplant list. A few living donors have come forward locally, including her son’s baseball coach, and they are currently being tested as possible candidates.
To allay the hefty cost of treatment, Carver is hosting a charity benefit at The Alley at Southshore on Saturday, October 14 from 2:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. An afternoon of bowling, food and a silent auction will be enjoyed. Dozens of businesses have donated gift cards, hotel nights and other merchandise, including Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Mike’s Smokehouse, Hilton Garden Inn, Art Monkey and Pinch-A-Penny.
Her good friend Darren Sussman, with The Casey Connection, donated a gift basket with six bottles of flavored vodka. “The crazy flavors of vodka are fun and they’re a way to celebrate life,” he said.
Carver said she hopes this fundraiser will not only help stave off financial ruin but also raise awareness of the anxiety that families face while waiting for an organ donor. “I’d like to eventually create a support group for other families facing the same challenge of being on the transplant list and waiting for a vital organ,” said Carver.
Despite her health challenges, Carver tries to remain optimistic by focusing on the positive things in life, such as the support she has garnered from local residents and businesses.
For more information about the benefit, visit www.facebook.com/OperationKidney or call her at 746-7361.