Fundraiser at MARC to help Petersen get heart transplant

Steve Chapman

Jared Petersen

Battling heart problems since infancy, $30,000 needed for next vital operation, Mt. Vernon event Aug. 12
A new non-profit organization called Transplant for Life Initiative will host a silent auction and bake sale fundraiser in mid-August to raise funds for a heart transplant for Jared Petersen. The silent auction will be the first in a series of fundraisers held by the initiative, with a goal of raising about $30,000 for Petersen’s operation.
Mary Petersen, Jared Petersen’s mother, said her son has been battling his heart problem since infancy.
“He was born in 1972, she said, “and was born with a congenital heart problem … and had his first surgery at 18 months to give more blood to his lungs, because he didn't have the … right half of his heart. That lasted until he was about 14 and then he had … a Fontan procedure, and that was done at the University of Minnesota. And out of those 11 that were done around that time, he was the only one that survived through it. And he's now going to be 50, and he's had … five separate open-heart surgeries.”
The challenges surrounding securing a transplant for Jared haven’t been only financial. Mary said he was turned down by St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis and another hospital in Philadelphia for the procedure, due to the amount of scar tissue he has from previous surgeries, before being accepted by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. However, before he can undergo the operation, Mary said, he would need to raise a certain amount of money.
“They have got, I guess, a program that might work for him,” she said, “(but) in order to be part of their program, we have to have raised about between $20,000 and $30,000 so that he can stay in Nashville before the heart transplant and after the heart transplant, because he'll be down there for … probably one or two years.”
Mary said that after they finish raising the funds for Jared’s heart transplant, they plan to keep Transplant for Life Initiative going so that they can help other people.
“We started (the initiative) so that we can raise funds beyond that to help other people that need help,” she said.
The silent auction and bake sale will take place from 6:30-8 p.m. at the MARC in Mt. Vernon on Aug. 12.

More info:
For more information, or to make a donation, call Mary Petersen at 507-449-0090.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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