High Tea Fundraiser to Benefit FishHawk Resident Needing Kidney Transplant
The fundraiser will take place today, Jan. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Tea Cup Tea Room in Brandon.
As a young FishHawk Ranch mother continues to fight for her life against end-stage renal failure, friends and strangers alike are rallying to raise funds to offset her mounting medical expenses.
The latest fundraiser is a high tea planned today, Jan. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Tea Cup Tea Room, 1107 Lithia-Pinecrest Rd., Brandon. The cost of $30 includes soup, sandwiches, salad and dessert.
Earlier this month, the newly opened Title Boxing Club in Bloomingdale Square hosted a fundraiser for Devon Carver, and proceeds from a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament and a Christmas carnival in December were dedicated to Carver.
In the meantime, the 34-year-old is receiving publicity from an unexpected source.
A Tampa marketing company, which has asked to remain anonymous, financed three billboards featuring Carver, reading: “Local Mother Needs Living Kidney Donor.”
The two digital and one standard billboards went up in December along Interstate 75 in Tampa.
“The owner and pretty much all of us who work at the company are FishHawk residents,” said a spokeswoman for the marketing company. “We’re happy to be able to use our skills for a good cause. Devon needs to focus on her health, not on fundraising.”
In addition to purchasing billboard space, Carver’s anonymous benefactor has set up a website, Save Devon-OperationKidney, where the public can make donations for Carver.
Despite all the gestures of support, Carver is running out of time.
She needs a live kidney donor to replace her kidneys, which have failed due to complications from the type 1 diabetes she’s had since age 2.
Currently, she spends 11 to 12 hours a day on a dialysis machine to remove waste and excess water from her blood while she awaits a donor.
Surgeons previously performed a kidney and pancreas transplant on the Bloomingdale High School graduate using the organs of a cadaver. However, the new kidney didn't function correctly and had to be removed.
Doctors say she doesn’t have time to wait for another compatible cadaver kidney, which could take six or seven years. They believe her only hope of survival is to find a live donor with 0 negative or 0 positive blood, under age 50 and in excellent health.
"My sister wanted to do it but she's a carrier for type 1 diabetes so she couldn't be a donor," said Carver.
A cousin also came forward to donate a kidney. However, she was ruled out because her antibodies and antigens killed those in Carver’s blood.
"If I don’t get a living donor, I’m going to die. I can’t wait," said Carver.
Carver is now recovering from surgery in December, which included amputating three of her toes, which had grangrene, and removing a large cyst that had grown around the port she uses for dialysis.
“I’m having a hard time,” she said. “I’ve been very sick.”
Her husband, Brandon, said it’s been a tough two months for Carver but added that the groundswell of community support for his wife gives her hope.
“She is surely the strongest person I have ever met,” he said.
For more information about tonight’s High Tea fundraiser, call 813-654-6543.
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