As a child she had several bouts of respiratory infections, and was first admitted at the age of 20 with bilateral pneumonia and was in the hospital for 2 weeks. She had been misdiagnosed multiple times with Asthma or bronchitis, would get better, then it would come back again a few months later. She had a few ER visits over the years with chest discomfort or shortness of breath and admissions with cardiac workup that were always normal, when she got better she would resume her active lifestyle. Around 2010 she was admitted, and the heart workup again was normal. She asked for a CT scan to be done of her chest. It was the radiologist reading the CT scan that suggested that she be tested for the genetic condition called ALPHA1 ANTITRYPSIN DEFICIENCY. She had the genetic blood testing done in the hospital and it came back positive with a Genotype of ZZ that means she has both defective genes of the disease in which the liver doesn't produce the enzyme that the lungs need. She started receiving weekly intravenous infusions to slow the progression of the disease since 2011. In September 2015 she suffered her 3rd episode of respiratory failure and has been on Oxygen since that time and has not been able to resume her normal activities with her family or work. She was advised that she needs a lung transplant. She is on Oxygen 24 hours a day and can only walk short distances without getting short of breath; previously she was able to walk a lot and fast.
The reason for this fund raiser is to assist with the tremendous pre and post lung transplant costs of testing, medications, anti-rejection meds (which she will need to be on for the rest of her life), frequent traveling to and from the transplant center, loss of wages, lung surgery, and multitude of co-pays and procedures that are not covered by insurance.
Her wife Christine will need to stay home from work for 2-3 months to care for Jenni to help her recover from the transplant and she will not be able to earn any income.
Jenni is being admitted to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center for intensive pre-transplant testing, and it is anticipated that she will be listed for transplant shortly after the tests with the hope of a bilateral lung transplant and a gift of life within a few months.
This means so much to us because Jenni wants to be able to breath without Oxygen, and she wants to be able to be active again with the children, family & friends. Being a patient is not her strong suit, she is eager to resume a normal life and to return to work after healing from the transplant. The Lung transplant will not make the ALPHA-1 Antitrypsin deficiency genetic disorder go away, but it will give her some more years of life not needing Oxygen to be able to breath, and allow her to have quality of health.
ANY donation will be greatly appreciated. If you are unable to make a donation, we thank you very much for taking the time to read this and appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
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- Heidi Pech
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