Carleton teacher awaits transplant, needs help from community


In 2000, Kristen Jackson, of Carleton, was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, a disease that caused inflammation in her lungs. Doctors say a double-lung transplant is critical, and she was recently added to the transplant waiting list.

This illness has significantly impacted Jackson’s life, as it’s difficult for her to be as active as she’d like. As a mother of a young child and a teacher in the Lutheran school system, her days can become extremely exhausting.

The average double-lung transplant costs approximately $800,000. And that’s only the beginning. Even with insurance, which will cover a portion of the transplant costs, she still faces significant expenses related to the surgery. For the rest of her life, she will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications, which are as critical to her survival as the transplant itself.

For fundraising support and guidance, Jackson, 47, turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance with some of these financial burdens. NFT is a nonprofit organization that helps patients raise funds to pay for transplant-related expenses.

“My heart goes out to Kristen,” said Samantha Palazolo, NFT fundraising consultant. “I know she wants nothing more than to spend more quality time with her husband and daughter, and at NFT, we want to help her raise the funds she needs to afford her vital treatment so she can do just that.”

To help offset her transplant-related expenses, the community is invited to an Oktoberfest celebration on Sunday, Oct. 18 from 12:30 to 5 p.m. at the VFW Hall, 700 Carleton-Rockwood Road in Carleton.

The event is free to attend, but donations are appreciated. Along with German-themed food and entertainment, there will be a silent auction, face painting and outdoor games.

For more information, please contact Christy Schultz at

To make a tax-deductible donation in honor of Jackson, please send a contribution to the NFT Michigan Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write “in honor of Kristen Jackson” on the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online at Donors should click on “Find an NFT Patient” to locate Jackson.

About NFT

NFT is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Memphis, Tenn. that has been helping transplant patients overcome financial obstacles since 1983. NFT provides fundraising expertise and advocacy to transplant patients by organizing fundraising campaigns in the patients’ own communities. NFT’s fundraising campaigns have generated nearly $72 million to assist patients. NFT assists more than 2,500 transplant candidates and recipients nationwide. For more information about NFT, please call 800-489-3863 or visit

Source: National Foundation for Transplants


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