BY SHARON MARTIN
Nixon Gage Peters was born with chronic renal failure. At 20 months, he has been approved for a kidney transplant, but the hospital in Oklahoma City won’t schedule the surgery until the parents have raised $10,000 for copay and after care.
After care is critical. Transplant patients are on a lifetime of anti-rejection medicines. But, with the meds, they have a life – breath, job, family.
Still, it doesn’t seem right that a life-saving transplant, as journalist Melanie Payne wrote recently, is being “treated as elective surgery.”
Fortunately for little Nixon, his grandmother’s work family is trying to raise the money this month. Debbie Pearson has worked at Supplyworks Tulsa for 15 years. Co-workers have pitched in with a Toro Lawnmower raffle, hotdog stands, street tacos, and change jar contests. They applied for a Homer grant from Supplyworks parent company, Home Depot, who will match the first 1,667 dollars two for one. They’ll still be only halfway there.
Homer grants are funded by and for employees of Home Depot. Workers donate money to the fund, and they apply for funding when there’s a need – house fire, accident, kidney transplant.
I am grateful for the good and charitable people in the world, but what a world! What a country that one needs charity to access medical care!
Our needs aren’t met until a clerk says they’ll be met. As one patient lamented, “My insurance company would rather pay for dialysis three times a week than cover my transplant.”
Dialysis is miserable. Treatment for renal failure shouldn’t be determined by financial status or an accountant. GoFundMe should be used to send your kid to a tournament or to open a roadside stand, not to access healthcare.
Sadly, GoFundMe for medical treatment has become necessary. Nixon Gage Peters has an account.
We raise money online to save lives. Good people contribute. And they form prayer chains. But prayer and charity are not enough!
It’s time for good people to rise up and explain to legislators that every life is sacred, even after it’s born. Tell them that, for America to be great, citizens shouldn’t have to hold fundraisers for health care. They shouldn’t have to beg the save the life of a child.
But we do. And we will until our legislators come to their senses.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer