Benefit for Coon Rapids resident July 22

A benefit for Coon Rapids resident Travis Kelleher will take place Sunday, July 22 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Casper & Runyon’s Shamrock, 995 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Admission is $15, and silent auction items will include jewelry, sports tickets, a time share stay, a week-long stay at a condo in Arizona and more.

Kelleher was born with Fabry disease, a genetic disorder that has severely damaged his kidneys. Doctors now say he needs a kidney transplant.

Although he experienced symptoms related to the disease, such as episodes of pain, Kelleher, 39, was able to live a relatively normal childhood. However, his kidneys began to deteriorate in 2007.

Because Kelleher saw so many family members lose their battles with Fabry disease at young ages, he never really planned on a future. However, his new wife, Trinh, has offered him hope, as she is his perfect donor match and will donate one of her kidneys to save his life.

The average kidney transplant costs approximately $250,000. But, even with health coverage, Kelleher faces expenses related to the surgery.

For the rest of his life, Kelleher will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications, which may cost $3,000 to $4,000 a month.

To help alleviate the financial burden, the Kellehers turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance.

For more information about the event, contact Debbyanne Brayton at dbrayton@comcast.net or 651-283-8475.

To make a tax-deductible donation, send a contribution to the NFT Minnesota Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119.

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