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Donors4Deb. “The Rise of a Super Hero”

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In 2010 I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C and Cirrhosis of the liver. In 2011 I underwent a rigorously grueling treatment of Interferon and Ribavirin for approximately 26 weeks.  During this treatment I had to have two blood transfusions and self-inject a monthly medicine called Procrit in to my stomach.  After this life-threatening treatment, I was Hepatitis C free for one month. During this time, my doctor was waiting for new treatments to be developed and approved.

I moved to Texas in 2014 to get a break from the cold weather of New York. I began seeing a gastroenterologist at University Health Hospital in San Antonio for my Hepatitis C. This doctor was excited about a new Hepatitis C treatment called Harvoni. A one pill, 12-week treatment with very few detrimental side effects. I began this treatment in 2015.

FAST FORWARD -2020 -The Big Bad Wolf. CANCER 
While I am still Hepatitis C free the Cirrhosis has advanced.  In March of 2020, I was diagnosed with liver cancer. It was during this time that my son Gerek and I talked about the possibility of me having a liver transplant. Gerek agreed to travel to San Antonio to be with me while I received treatment for the tumor on my liver. I underwent a procedure called Y90. Radiation beads travel through a small tube inserted into the vein which went directly into the tumor in my liver.  While my son was here, we both attended classes about the liver transplant and what to expect. We were told at that time that the best solution for me was
to have a living donor.

It’s heartbreaking as a mother to hear your son say, “I will do anything in the world to save you mom, including giving you part of my liver”. Part of me wanted him to say NO!!! I do not want my only child to be hurt or cut upon, to have to recover from him giving a portion of his liver to me.  Oh, the agony in my heart! WHAT IF ??? 
I had to accept that standing before me was a man whose mind was made up. A man who was willing to do whatever it took to save his mother’s life, a SUPERHERO indeed.

In May of 2020 I began the process of being evaluated for the UNOS Liver Transplant Waiting List. During the process I took educational classes on Waiting for Transplant, Transplant and Social Work Services, Psychological Session, Activity and Exercise, Nutrition, Post-Operative Care and Transplant Medications just to name a few ‼️

Gerek and I both had a battery of medical test, examination inside and out from the rooter to the tooter! This was Gerek’ first time being exposed to all the lab and stress tests, CT scans, medical terminology and anxiety that comes with being in a new environment and culture. In the midst of all this testing and being educated on becoming a potential donor and recipient, I had to make a choice of whether to search for a living liver donor and / or wait on the liver transplant list   for a deceased donor to be a match.  Once Gerek qualified as a donor I chose my Superhero

We need your support to help us financially.
As a living liver donor and recipient, it is emphasized by each of our transplant teams we must have support financially, spiritually and physically.

We have the support spiritually and physically, but not financially. That’s where you come in. My superhero lives in the state of NY and has a two-to-three-month period of recuperating.  Unfortunately, he does not have the luxury of paid leave, sick time or FMLA. We are asking for financial support to help with housing costs, insurance, telephone, and home health care. It’s all the basic needs costs for one’s daily living.

Our goal is $15,000, in our needs assessment we determined we would also need support in paying for doctor copays, medication costs, I will be taking anti-rejection medication for the rest of my life.
Please help us ease the financial burden of hefty medical costs and living expenses during this process so my Superhero and I with my superpowers (new liver) can rest and focus on our recovery.

We’ve secured a grant for $6,000 from (NLDAC) National Living Donor Assistance Center for travel expenses. Since he lives in NYS he has to travel to Texas Transplant Center @ University Hospital for testing, for pre-evaluation, transplant procedure, and healing.

Family members came to me and said they wanted to do something to support us in our efforts toward liver transplant. My sister, patient advocate, her two sons and my cousin, affectionately known as, Team L&L, formulated a dialogue to be presented to family and close friends on Zoom.

These bi-weekly Zoom meetings began after I was officially active on the United Network for Organ Sharing List as of September 2020. These meetings informed family of my health issues and the need for a liver donor.

Also, discussed during these Zoom meetings was the financial stress a transplant recipient and transplant donor might encounter. 
The efforts of my family support team raised $900 through our family Zoom meetings of which I am Eternally Grateful.  

Now we are turning to YOU to help support
the recovery of a mom who has gotten her
Superpowers from her Superhero son.

I would like to thank you in advance for contributing to our cause. 
Your Contribution will make a difference.

Peace and Blessings,
Deborah R. Hammons



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  • Juanita Perry
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Deborah Hammons
San Antonio, TX

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