Have you ever heard a tragic story and wondered why bad things happen to good people? That is exactly what I said when I heard that my good friend Fu'a Tuimaunei was diagnosed with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and told he needed a new heart or else he will die. An incredible father of five and husband of 21 years, Fu'a has no history of smoking or drinking, no problems with high blood pressure or cholesterol, but at the young age of 45 got news that his heart was twice the size it should be and was pumping less than half the blood it should. Without the proper medications and ICD to keep him alive until his heart transplant, this wonderful father of five may not be around to see his sons graduate from West Point and nursing school, his beautiful daughters in their wedding gowns, or his youngest graduate from middle school.
When some people heard that Fu'a was diagnosed with a greatly enlarged heart they were not really shocked. Having a masters degree in counseling, they most likely knew him from his days working with at-risk youth trying to keep them off the street. Or perhaps they grew to love him during his time of working with single moms in a program teaching them to be self-sufficient. Or maybe it was one of the many families of high school athletes that Fu'a counseled as he worked with them to find the right scholarships and programs. Yes, I think it is really no surprise to many that Fu'a has a heart that is twice the size of a normal man.
How can you help? Fu'a and his lovely wife Kristen have both insurance and jobs, but in todays world that just isn't enough. The deductibles, the out-of-pocket expenses, the medications required but not covered, the traveling and overnight stays Fu'a must take to meet with the transplant team, have created a significant hardship. Adding to these challenges is the fact that Fu'a will be forced to take an extended leave from his job and the income they need in order to rest and recover from the upcoming procedures.
Join with us today and contribute whatever you can to this fine young family. It's not very often we give to a good cause and can see exactly how our contributions are used. By donating today to Fu'a and Kristen and their 5 children, you will know that your little bit of help went directly to a good family.
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- Corrina Sialega
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