Help Bless Benjamin

My name is Connie Townsend, and I’m creating this page to assist my son Benjamin Bell with his medical needs.  Ben is 31 years old and has been struggling for almost three years with a complicated illness. He was born with an inherited disease known as Alpha 1 Anti-trypsin Deficiency, a genetic disorder that causes defective production of alpha-1 antitrypsin (A1AT), leading to decreased A1AT activity in the blood and lungs, and deposition of excessive abnormal A1AT protein in liver cells. 

Ben made some choices in his youth which led to his becoming addicted to prescription drugs, and later to becoming a heroin addict.  Three years ago, he found himself in the hospital with a diagnosis of Liver Disease, Hepatitis C, progressed complications due to his Alpha I, and a poor prognosis.  Ben took what he was told seriously and began working toward becoming drug free. He has been through drug rehab and attended NA and AA meetings. He has also become devoted to helping other addicts to become clean and sober. In addition, he recently began mentoring a teenage boy who is a candidate for the Mountaineer Challenge Academy. Benjamin explained to me, “I just want to give back.”    

Like many addicts, my son has struggled to stay clean; but he is committed, and he strives for sobriety each day.  About 3 years ago, Benjamin was informed that he would eventually need a liver transplant. Now it has come to that point for my son, and he desperately needs a the surgery. Over the last year, my son has spent more and more time in the hospital, and his condition is quickly worsening. 

Due to his current medical condition, he is in a terrible financial position.  His expenses include travel to out-of-state hospitals, special dietary needs, trying to maintain his residence, and care for his dog Aries, who is his only companion.  The family is incurring costs as well as we assist him.  These costs will only continue to increase as my son progresses through his illness. 

It is our hope that Benjamin will be placed on the list for a liver transplant soon.  He has several steps to complete prior to becoming eligible for the transplant list, all of which will be financially detrimental.  Some of these costs include dental clearance, transportation, medications, and eventually, aftercare.  In the meantime, he still has to pay rent and utilities, all on a small fixed income.

In closing, I would like to thank each of you for taking the time to read our story.  Any donations, for Benjamin, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated.  We will use any money raised to Help Bless Benjamin with the hope of saving his life. 

**Please note that all gifts will be deposited in an independent account in my name (Connie Townsend), set up and administered with the advice of a CPA.  The funds will be used to pay Benjamin's expenses.  Thank you. 

A few things about Benjamin:

* He loves his family and he is loved by his family and    friends.  He loves and adores his son, Bradin.
* He loves animals, especially his dog Aries.
* He loves music, and plays the bass guitar.
* He has a fun sense of humor and is kind hearted.
* He has a beautiful smile.
* He has always loved helping people.
* He has always been a hard worker.
* He is in touch with his spirituality.
* He loves the outdoors, particularly fishing and camping.

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Connie Townsend 
Elkins, WV
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