In a time of politics, disagreement and discord, sometimes it is important to understand what truly matters — and do something to save a life.
Such is the case of Joanna Rodriguez of South Florida and her younger brother Daniel Quesada.
Daniel suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time.
For several years, Daniel’s health had been stable enough for him to become a funny and resilient 18-year-old academic standout and cross-country athlete. But when the disease prevented him from running cross-country at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, Daniel became “Coach DQ,” which allowed him to stay with his teammates through the season.
Unfortunately, things have recently turned for the worse — and Daniel’s condition is deteriorating fast. Doctors have currently measured his lung function at 16 percent, with no more medications or treatments left to repair or hold off the damage.
That leaves only one path: It’s time to get new #Lungs4Danny.
This month, Daniel will move to North Carolina (with his mom) and placed on the list for a double lung transplant at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
The surgery comes with a considerable cost — upward of $1.4 million, with a minimum of $250,000 in out-of-pocket expenses.
Despite many obstacles facing Daniel, a circle of friends is working to ensure finances will not be one of them.
In just a couple weeks, family and friends have already raised over $65,000 through the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA), which provides direct financial and in-kind assistance to families (like Daniel’s) facing transplant-related expenses. This generous outpouring has been overwhelming.
All the funds raised by “Team Danny Q” will help Daniel directly.
But the work of Team Danny Q is far from complete, which is why I have three requests:
— Donate here: As anyone experiencing chronic illnesses know, health care costs can be intimidating. This surgery — over and above Daniel’s continued regular care — is no exception. CODA uses every dollar of your donation (which is tax-deductible) efficiently and responsibly. (Read more about the lifesaving work of COTA here.) Additionally, your company could match your gift (more about that here).
— Help raise awareness: Joanna has made getting the word out easy by developing custom graphics and draft posts (located here) to show support, and ways to encourage social media friends and followers to enlist them in the fight to get #Lungs4Danny or #DQsLungs. Take full advantage of your network of friends and associates, please. This includes generous use of the hashtags and tag @Running_w_Danny.
And, most importantly, don’t forget to use this link to the Team Danny Q COTA donation page:
— Pray: Much of this race is out of human hands.
So, the family is asking for your prayers — for Daniel and his mom who is moving with him to North Carolina to be his full-time caretaker, as well as the doctors, transplant team, and the future donor and their family.
It is beyond words to describe the pain and frustration Daniel’s family is experiencing, listening to increasingly labored breathing with a long road to recovery. But despite the struggle, Daniel and those around him have shown resiliency and determination with eyes on a simple goal — for him to live a life without Cystic Fibrosis in the lungs.
Imagine the productive and rewarding life Daniel can experience after overcoming this debilitating disease — a life without limits!
The most encouraging part is that this target is entirely achievable, but not without the help a loving, caring community. That means you. Please consider doing whatever you can to help get #Lungs4Danny.
And thank you.