(Crystal A. Proxmire, Ferndale 115 News, March 1, 2012 ed)
Jessica Johnson needs a double lung transplant, and two Ferndale businesses have stepped in to help with fundraising events.
On Tuesday, March 6, 2012 Essential Massage Therapy (22941 Woodward) will be donating all massage proceeds to Johnson’s fund for a double lung transplant. Owner Lisa Boyd said “Do you love massages and helping out great causes? What better way to do two things at once then by scheduling an appointment for a massage?” Appointments are filling up. Check them out online, and call 248-547-5428 to schedule your appointment.
Then on Thursday March 29th from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Loving Touch (22634 Woodward) will have a Wristband fundraiser. Those who donate $10 will get a wristband at the door which gets them special drink deals and free pool. All $10 from every wristband will go to Jessica’s fund. That event is on Facebook here.
Boyd explained that the transplant itself will be paid for, but that Johnson’s family needs to cover other expenses, including the cost of moving to Cleveland to be near the hospital for two to twelve months after the transplant.
According to her fundraising site, “This life-threatening genetic disease has left Jessica with only 30 – 40% of her normal lung capacity, and she will continue to lose lung capacity until she passes away. Compounding the threat of Cystic Fibrosis, Jessica developed a gastro intestinal disorder and the most severe case of diabetes. The diabetes was a result of steroids Jessica took as a teenager, which caused her body to stop producing insulin. These steroids, along with the multitude of other drugs Jessica has taken throughout her 33-year-long life has also caused Cirrhosis of the liver.
“Currently, Jessica must take enzymes with every meal since her body can no longer digest fat. However, Jessica’s body needs fat since it burns an astounding 4,000 – 6,000 calories a day to simply stay alive. As a result, Jessica has poor weight gain, scoliosis, hypothyroid, ostopenia and anemia. Overall, Jessica’s life has been a battle, but she continues to fight.
“Jessica was told she would never have children. However, on September 8, 2010 she gave birth to a healthy baby boy, named Samuel Carter Johnson. Jessica is a loving, caring and wonderful mother to both Samuel and her step-daughter Sepporah. But because of Jessica’s declining health, she hasn’t been able to be the mother she strives to be – enjoying time and activities with her children.”
Johnson and her family are raising money through The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA), a national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-needy patients. To read her story or to make a donation directly, please visit www.cotaforjessicaj.com.