African-American Mother Puts On Fundraiser For Lung Transplant

SACRAMENTO – The perfect cookie fortune for Yolunda Barquet would be one that said her life-saving transplant was within her reach.

Ms. Barquet, a local African American mother, has set a fundraiser at the Panda Express on Florin Road for Saturday, September 1, with the goal of raising money for her medical expenses.

Ms. Barquet, 41, is awaiting a double-lung transplant, as she suffers from pulmonary hypertension and a disorder causing the build-up of too much iron in her lungs.

Currently, nearly 115,000 Americans are awaiting lifesaving transplants, including 20,765 patients in California. Ms. Barquet, who lives in Stockton, is one of just 180 California residents awaiting lung transplants. The average double-lung transplant cost approximately $800,000. Though Ms. Barquet’s health insurance will cover the cost of the transplant itself, she’ll still face significant expenses for follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications for the rest of her life.

To overcome these financial challenges, Barquet turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance. NFT is a nonprofit organization that helps transplant patients raise funds to pay for medical expenses.

“Yolunda has overwhelming medical expenses to deal with, and that’s a huge burden,” said Kay Horne, NFT fundraising consultant. “At NFT, we want to help her raise funds so she can focus on her health, and not the costs associated with her transplant.”

Community members are encouraged to visit Panda Express, located at 6013 Florin Road in Sacramento, on Saturday, September 1 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. A portion of the day’s proceeds will go to NFT to assist with Ms. Barquet’s expenses.

Donations can also be made in Ms. Barquet’s honor at www.transplants.org or via mail to the NFT California Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Avenue, Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Be sure to write “in honor of Yolunda Barquet” in the subject line.

For more information on the local fundraiser, contact Selena Barquet-Peacock at (916) 821-5564.