PHOENIX -- A national organization says it will help Arizona transplant candidates, who have lost their health coverage because of cuts in the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, find ways to pay for their treatment.
Rebecca Carr of the National Transplant Assistance Fund says her group rarely deals with patients who have absolutely no insurance or Medicare.
"I'll be totally honest with you. An organ transplant when there is no insurance can frequently be half-a-million dollars. A bone marrow transplant can be a quarter of a million dollars. Some communities can raise that money, but that's a lot of bake sales and barbeques."
But, it can be done, Carr said.
"A community that can do a really successful dinner with auction or golf tournament day can raise $50,000 to $100,000 in a day if they've done their homework and done the prep work for an event like that."
Carr's group usually helps transplant patients find ways to pay for expenses outside the transplant itself.
"That can include the more obvious ones like hospital bills and medications, also travel expenses, caregiver expenses, food and relocation expenses and other things that you might not think of, right off the bat."
Carr welcomes questions from people who need help.
"I will get down to business and start talking to them about what fund-raising events might work in their community, about who they can send letters to asking for assistance -- anything to reach their network to ask for donations. That's what we're going to help them to do."
The fund will also help patients set up a Web site for donations.
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