help fund Jack's new liver

The McGraths are a sweet family In Hickory - six kids ranging from 6th grade through adulthood.  Several years ago, as a teenager, Jack became very sick and was ultimately diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis which is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease.  Eventually Jack's liver began to fail, and he was then diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), which is a condition that can come along with UC.  This is ultimately a fatal diagnosis unless he receives a liver transplant.  After looking at the options, the strongly recommended course was a living donor.  A living donor involves  identifying someone who meets a long list of criteria and is willing to go into surgery and donate 60+ percent of their own liver.  This a a long and tough workup and recovery for the donor, and it will also be a long and tough recovery for Jack.  When he receives this new liver he will have a greater than 80% chance of no recurrence.  

  After nearly a year of prayer and searching, Jack's mother, Julie, has been identified as the best donor for Jack.  Originally she was turned away by University of Pennsylvania, but they looked again at her many months later and made the decision to accept her as the donor! The surgery is planned for August 21st . 

 While this is wonderful news, having two family members going into major surgery also increases the emotional and financial burden for this family. Julie will need to stay in Philadelphia for over a month and John, Jack's father and Julie's husband, will need to spend a lot of time up there as well.  The other children will need support and help at home, and John will not be able to work regularly.  Julie, John, and Jack have to fly back and forth from Philadelphia to Charlotte countless times - as all follow-ups have to take place at UPenn.   Most of these visits and trips home have had to be and will be planned last minute so airline tickets are very expensive - as are change fees.  Additionally lodging, while less expensive in the transplant house, adds up over the many weeks that they will be there.  Meals have to be purchased in Hickory and in Philadelphia.  It's hard to describe the impact of this  unplanned burden. 

Please pray for the McGrath family - 
1) for a succesful transplant - no rejection
2) no recurrence
3) Speedy and smooth recovery for Jack and Julie
4) peace for the girls who will be at home in Hickory
5) no episodes of Ulcerative colitis or infection 
6) the Peace that passes understanding - from the Lord - during this time
7) finances to cover this ordeal

This page was set up to let you know so you can pray, but it is also set up so that you can give financially to relieve that burden.  This is a very big surgery for Julie and Jack and the recovery is incredibly tough.  They need our prayers and support in so many ways, but if we, the body of Christ, can at least take the financial burden off their plate it will be an incredible blessing.

Organizer and beneficiary

Allison Zelski Holtzman
Hickory, NC
John McGrath

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