As many of you know, my childhood friend, Erin, has been on a very special journey. Erin was born with a series of complex Congenital Heart Defects, or CHDs, that have threatened her life since the day she was born.
As a child, Erin had multiple surgeries, including open-heart surgeries, in hopes of correcting her defects and allowing her to live her life as normally as possible. While she couldn't always play sports or run on the track, she did get to do a lot of things, thanks to all of the efforts made by her medical team to care for her condition.
One of these procedures, the Fontan, saved her life as a child....But it also came with side-effects that doctors didn't foresee 20+ years ago. This surgery that saved Erin's life also caused her heart and liver to fail. This wasn't seen for many, many years, and Erin ended up needing a double-organ transplant.
I am beyond thrilled to say that on Valentine's Day, Erin got her miracle.
Thanks to a selfless donor who decided to give the gift of life, she has her new heart and liver, and her body isn't rejecting them! She's had many ups and downs, and honestly, there were a few very close calls over the past months. Erin has battled like the Warrior she is, and despite blood clots, fluid issues, and even pneumonia in both lungs, she is continuing to fight every day for her recovery.
I am SO incredibly PROUD of this lady!
Crystal is a 2 time Breast Cancer survivor, and has been Erin's strongest advocate ever since the day she was born.
Crystal has done what any other mother would do....She has put her own life on hold to be there every step of the way for her daughter. She left her own home in West Virginia, and has been a full-time support for Erin there in Philadelphia.
As you can imagine, the out of pocket costs for a double-organ transplant are astronomical. Of course you can't put a price tag on Erin's life, so these costs are something her family is more than willing to assume. They have ERIN, and that's what matters most!
Right now, I am going to keep it real. Erin and her family could really use some help. You see, for Crystal to stay in Philadelphia with Erin as she recovers, it costs $40 a night at the Gift of Life Transplant House. Yes, this is less expensive than most hotels, but when you've been there for months and months, these costs definitely add up. Then there's the cost of food, any out of pocket medical costs, and travel expenses for her Dad and Husband to visit as well.
Right now, it's incredibly important for Erin to have a support system there with her. She shouldn't have to go through rehab, learn to walk and function again, all by herself. The support of family means everything.
To help raise funds to stay by Erin's side, Crystal is selling some gorgeous jewelry by Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski. (Yes, THAT Swarovski. So you know it's gotta be nice!) Each sale will help raise the funds needed for Crystal to remain in Philadelphia with Erin.
They really have some gorgeous pieces to fit every style. There are rings like the one below that I ordered, as well as bracelets and necklaces. They range from clean, classic looks to fun, flirty, more colorful options. There are pieces to fit every wardrobe and budget,too!
You can order your own Touchstone Crystal jewelry directly from Erin's mom.
You can also follow Erin's Transplant Journey on Facebook.
If you'd like to donate but don't want to place an order, there is also a HelpHopeLive fundraising page for Erin. This service is WONDERFUL. Donations are tax-deductible, and the folks at HelpHopeLive ensure that all funds raised are used for medically-related expenses.
Thanks so much for your support!