AYER -- Patty Bogiages is facing an intestinal transplant. To help her cover associated costs, she and a group of supportive fellow residents at the Ayer Housing Authority are raising money with various events.
The group hopes to hold a bake sale, yard sale, raffle and dinner, trying to raise $10,000 for costs related to the out-of-state transplant.
Transportation, plus room and board during and after her surgery, will cost about $10,000, Bogiages said.
"They will not let me go alone, so Bob Smith is coming with me," she said.
Smith, a friend of Bogiages, will stay during and after the surgery. His room and board are included in the estimated cost.
Bogiages was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 1985 and has undergone several resections. With only 3 feet of intestine left, Bogiages is in need of an intestinal transplant, she said.
After the surgery, Bogiages will undergo 30 days of in-hospital recuperation, plus three additional months of housing in Pittsburgh to be near the medical center in case of complications.
She has just been given the go-ahead to raise money for her recovery care, she said, in hopes of receiving a spot on the Pittsburgh Transplantation Institute's transplant list in the near future.
Smith and friend Maureen Murray traveled to Pittsburgh with Bogiages for past visits.
"She is the happiest and sickest of all the residents," Smith said of Bogiages.
An account is set up at Sovereign Bank for donations. A yard sale and raffle are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 14, outside Ayer Housing Authority on Pond Street.
Bogiages is also an Avon representative and will sell her products at the yard sale, with proceeds going to the fund. Items to be raffled include a $25 gift certificate, handmade afghans and a purse.
A ham-and-bean dinner is scheduled for Oct. 5, from 5-6:30 p.m. Ticket prices have not been set.
If for any reason Bogiages does not make the transplant list, all money raised will go to other transplant recipients at the National Transplant Assistance Fund, she said.
Follow Julia on Twitter and Tout @JuliaEKacmarek and Like her page, "Julia E Kacmarek" on Facebook.