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Richard Sanchez Medical Fund

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Four years ago, Richard Sanchez, was diagnosed with a form of Pulmonary Fibrosis. This is a condition where over time lung tissue becomes stiff and hardens rendering the lungs ineffective at supplying the body with oxygen. It is a progressive and terminal disease, without a cure. With each passing day, week, month and year the ability for Richard to get oxygen became difficult. There really is no treatment to stop the progression of Pulmonary Fibrosis leaving its victims unable to breathe at the end stages of this disease. Many, once diagnosed, do not live past 5 years.

Many of you may not have ever known he was struggling with this disease. That’s the way he wanted it. His was the consummate entertainer – he wanted everyone to be having a good time in his presence.  He just kept his shenanigans rolling as he lived his life every day to the fullest, providing all of us with the love and laughs Sanchez has become known for.

 The only way for Richard to beat this, was to get placed on the donor list for a double lung transplant.

At the beginning of summer Richard and his team of doctors began the task of ensuring his body would be a suitable recipient for a lung transplant. After a battery of tests, on July 8 2016 the decision was made to place Richard on the donor waiting list.

On Saturday July 30, Richard got that call.  A grieving family made the decision to donate their loved ones’ organs. At 4am on July 31, Richard was beginning a 12 hour surgery at the University of Michigan to start his new lease on life.  Sanchez spent a total of 41 days in the hospital and is continuing his care as an outpatient.

When you think about the statistics for a double lung transplant, the whole process is a true miracle. UofM only performs roughly 35 of these a year. Some people on the waiting list never get ‘the’ call. Not only did the donor have to be the correct blood type, but they had to be the right size for Sanchez. The list of requirements to ensure a successful transplant go on and on. Now more than ever Sanchez’s feisty, fighting, positive spirit is needed to guide him through recovery.

Many of you know Sanchez has an extensive emotional support system in his family. He is a beloved son to Mama Sanchez who is 85 years young, a loving husband to Elaine, the proud father of Michael, Laura and Jeffrey, and Grandpa of 4. He has 14 siblings, one of whom watches him from heaven.  Sanchez served  our city as a Detroit Police officer for 34 years, and during his retirement he has been safely shuttling and providing priceless entertainment to thousands of loyal Detroit sports fans, as a shuttle bus driver for Tommy’s. After helping all of us at some point in our lives, he needs our help!

There will be a benefit held on October 15, 2016 from 2pm until midnight at Tommy’s Bar & Grill to help with Sanchez’s ongoing care and medical bills. Those of you familiar with organ transplants know this will now be a lifelong process with a lot of fiscal responsibilities for Sanchez.

We hope you will be able to attend Sanchez’s Big Breathe Easy on October 15th, but if you cannot PLEASE consider donating through this GoFundMe page.  If you plan on attending the event on October 15th and would like to make a donation via personal check; please  make it payable to “Richard Sanchez”.  Thank you!


  • Debbie and Paul Fekete
    • $200 
    • 7 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Jenifer Jodway
Detroit, MI
Richard Sanchez

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