New Lungs for Leah!

$9,500 of $10k goal

Raised by 65 people in 19 months
RE
Rachel Eidman
on behalf of Leah Garcia
 CHICO, CA
Leah Bailey is a 32 year young lady living in Northern California. Leah was born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a debilitating, inherited chronic disease affecting the lungs and digestive system. Leah’s childhood and teenage years were spent in and out of the hospital, battling this horrible disease. In September of 2004, Leah received the life-gift of a double lung transplant at the University of California, San Francisco. She spent the next several months living at a hotel in San Francisco letting her body heal, and learning how to use her new lungs. The road to recovery was not easy, and as Leah says, it was trading one illness for another. An organ transplant means a constant stream of anti-rejection medication and the fear that even the tiniest cold that could be shrugged off by a healthy person could prove to be a six month setback in health.
Throughout this health roller-coaster, Leah still spends her time giving back to others. Whether it’s knitting baby hats, or baking birthday cakes, or helping to plan showers, Leah is a true gift to her friends and family. Her generosity is especially significant considering how much it costs her. When living with a chronic disease, there are only so many “spoons” to be spent in a day, and the fact that she uses them on others is a true testament to her giving nature.
Now is our opportunity to give back to Leah. In part because of a chronic stenosis (narrowing of the airway) that was present in the lungs she was gifted, Leah is now battling chronic rejection. One lung is totally collapsed, and the other is severely compromised. She needs another double lung transplant, and because of her complicated medical history, this is considered very high-risk. Finding a hospital to perform this surgery is even more difficult. Fortunately, Leah is currently being evaluated at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles for a double lung and heart transplant, because they think this will give her the best chance at a successful transplant. Leah would then be able to donate her heart to another person in need, in something called a “domino” transplant.
One moment of sweetness in all this tumult was that Leah was finally able to marry her childhood sweetheart in May. She and her love Benito had an intimate wedding and traded vows on the cliffs near the Fort Bragg Botanical Garden (where they were engaged years earlier). A quote from their vows was: “To not think about tomorrow, but to enjoy the today we are given.”
Please consider giving to Leah to help her cover the vast medical and travel expenses that come with a life-giving transplant. Her home is in Northern California, and living long term in Southern California for the transplant and recovery will be a huge financial burden. If you are unable to give financially, please say a prayer, or send her an encouraging note or a slice of Claim Jumper’s lemon cake! Let’s wrap our arms around Leah and her family to give as much as we are able during their time of need. Thank you so much for considering supporting his amazing woman!
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Update 4
Posted by Rachel Eidman
5 months ago
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Folks, it is a happy, happy day! As of yesterday, Leah has been officially bumped up the transplant list and is now at the point where that life changing call could come any day! She and Benito need our support now more than ever as they make sure they're ready to head down to LA whenever that call comes in! We're so close to hitting our goal of $10,000 thanks to the generous donations of so many people, but please continue to share Leah's story and donate if you're able!
Thank so so much to everyone who has already donated or sent kind words and thoughts on the good days and the bad! Thank you also to the transplant team at Cedar's Sinai for being willing to take on Leah's case, and most of all thank you to the good Lord for answering the prayers of so many hearts!
To hear about this exciting update in Leah's own words, check out her Facebook page here....
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1107447369292507
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Update 3
Posted by Rachel Eidman
15 months ago
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Everyone please check out this exciting update from Leah herself!!

Hey everyone! Leah here! :-)
I just wanted to let you all know that on December 28th, the day before my birthday I got a call from Cedars-Sinai saying that as of that afternoon I'd officially be listed for a double lung and heart transplant! I'm listed as a Status 2 on the heart transplant list. The list is broken down into 3 sections, the people in most dire need are a Status 1A, next is 1B, then it's Status 2 which is reserved for people in need of a heart, but are maintaining at home without the need of mechanical assistance to help the heart work as well as possible. Since I have a healthy heart I definitely do not qualify for being in dire need of a heart, but if there is ever a heart involved in a transplant with another organ the patient is required to be listed on the heart list, even if their other organ is the one failing. A definite flaw in the listing process, but my center is going to do all they can to bump me up higher on the list if my health gets worse and I'm not getting offers for new lungs&heart. They estimated a wait anywhere from 3-12 months before I get the perfect lungs and heart, but in all honesty I could be called at any time. I'm currently getting by on 22% total lung function and my quality of life has been significantly reduced. Leaving my house is so exhausting and puts me in danger of catching a virus that could land me in the ICU and make me ineligible for lungs of I were to get "the call" during the time I'm fighting off the virus. I'm spending my days at home bouncing from my bed to my couch then back again. Thank goodness for Benito, Netflix, and Amazon Prime to keep me occupied! :-)
Cedars-Sinai's lung and heart transplant teams are going to do their very best to make sure I'm also going to be donating my own heart at the time of my transplant, but there may be unforeseen circumstances that could prevent that from happening. They want me to know that so I don't wake up from my surgery surprised if my heart didn't go on to someone else. I would be incredibly relieved and grateful to be able to donate my heart to save someone's life, but if that doesn't work out I know that there was a good reason why and that my doctors did all they could to pass my heart on.

Before wrapping up this update I want to say THANK YOU for the incredibly generous donations that I've received so far. My Cedars-Sinai social worker estimates living expenses will be anywhere from $3,000-$5,000 per month and that we should plan on being there for at least 3 months to recover and be followed super closely immediately after transplant. With your generosity and the amount we have saved outside of GoFundMe we are super close to our $15,000 goal! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!

Lastly, please feel free to check in on my blog here and there to see if I've posted an update on my transplant journey. Once I get my call Benito knows to post updates for everyone about my recovery process until I'm able to take over and write updates myself.
www.leahbailey.blogspot.com

I love you!!

-Leah Garcia

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Update 2
Posted by Rachel Eidman
17 months ago
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1
1
Hello!
A little over a month into the campaign and we've had over 400 Facebook shares and have raised $3,255! The outpouring of support and love for Leah has been truly heartwarming and is just further proof of what an amazing woman she is. Since the last update, she and Benito have made several visits to Cedars Sinai to meet with their lung and heart transplant teams and reports that the visits went well and she hopes to be listed soon! Please continue to share her story and encourage friends and family to donate if they're able, and thank you so much to everyone who has already contributed!
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Update 1
Posted by Rachel Eidman
19 months ago
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3
3
Hi all!
A week in and we're off to a great start with nearly $1,000 raised! Please continue to spread the word about Leah's campaign and encourage friends and family to join in support of this amazing woman!

Also, this Friday marked the 11th anniversary of Leah's first transplant, affectionately referred to as her "Breathday", so please send her some words of love and encouragement as she continues on the hard road to her next transplant!
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Read a Previous Update
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$9,500 of $10k goal

Raised by 65 people in 19 months
Created September 19, 2015
RE
Rachel Eidman  
on behalf of Leah Garcia
$50
Anonymous
5 months ago
ED
$200
Elizabeth Danley
5 months ago
AT
$50
Andy T
5 months ago
MH
$100
Michelle Hanson
5 months ago

Stay strong! You got this!

LH
$200
Leeann Hassell
5 months ago
LJ
$50
Laura James
5 months ago
KO
$200
Karen Owens
5 months ago

Praying for you beautiful girl!!

$100
Anonymous
5 months ago
$50
Anonymous
5 months ago
$1,000
Anonymous
5 months ago
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