Yard sale to benefit Niles man needing kidney transplant

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, May 25, 2016

In 2011, Rodney Akey, of Niles, was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure, and doctors say a kidney transplant is necessary.

He is currently undergoing evaluations in hopes of being added to the transplant waiting list soon.

The average kidney transplant costs approximately $250,000 and that is only the beginning, according to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT). Even with health insurance, which will cover the cost of the transplant, Akey, 50, faces significant expenses related to the surgery. For the rest of his life, he will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. Post-transplant medications are very expensive, and they’re as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.

When he receives his transplant, Akey must temporarily relocate 100 miles from his home to be near the hospital during recovery, incurring substantial expenses for travel, food and lodging. Because of his declining health, he had to stop working, adding to his financial strain.

For fundraising expertise and guidance, Akey turned to the NFT, a nonprofit organization based in Memphis, Tennessee, that helps patients raise funds to pay for transplant-related expenses.

“I’m hopeful that Rodney will receive his transplant soon,” said Samantha Palazolo, NFT fundraising consultant. “At NFT, we’re dedicated to helping him raise the funds he needs to afford his lifesaving treatment and care, and I hope this event will be a great success.”

To help offset his expenses, volunteers are holding a three-day yard sale beginning Friday, May 27.

The sale will take place at 33655 US-12 (across from Frantz Rd.) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

For more information, please contact Jaymie Marlin at 269-357-6037 or Jazmynn69@ymail.com.

To make a tax-deductible donation in honor of Akey, send a contribution to the NFT Michigan Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Donors should write “in honor of Rodney Akey” on the memo line.

Secure donations also can be made online at www.transplants.org–select “Find an NFT Patient” to locate Akey.