Locals pitch in for child’s transplant | SierraSun.com

Locals pitch in for child’s transplant

The white paper cup sits above the candy bar and gum rack at the Glenshire General Store. Dollar bills and coins fill the cup to the brim, nudging up against a small sign that shows the picture of a seemingly healthy 15-month-old boy. But Bode Everist is anything but healthy, and each dollar bill in the cup will help ease the financial burden of the liver transplant operation that looms in his future.Bode is the son of Scott and Allison Everist of Tahoe City. Scott is North Tahoe High School’s football coach, and Allison was the director of operations for the Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe before she quit the job to stay home with Bode. He was diagnosed with biliary artesia in late November 2002, 10 weeks after he was born. The disease affects one out of every 20,000 children, and in Bode’s case, it has caused his liver to grow to seven times its normal size, necessitating a transplant.After getting Bode on the national transplant list for a liver transplant, the Children’s Organ Transplant Association – a national organization based out of Indiana – also began raising funds for the Everists, whose portion of the financial responsibility for the approximately $500,000 in medical expenses for the transplant procedure and first year of care may exceed $75,000.The Truckee area is pitching in, with collection cups like the one in the Glenshire General Store, and Northstar-at-Tahoe pledging a portion of its intake from a New Year’s Eve celebration to the cause.Northstar will donate money from two events to Bode Everist and the Boys & Girls Club. The first is a family fireworks show and torchlight parade at the lodge at Big Springs from 7 to 9 p.m. The cost is $5, which includes a free glow necklace for kids. The second is an adult event at the Alpine Bar starting at 9 p.m. It features a deejay and includes a free glass of champagne. The cost is $10.Bode is doing well lately, said Allison Everist. He is still taking six medications a day, but has been off of his intravenous medication for more than two months, the longest period he has been off of the drug.”He’s actually doing very well,” Everist said. “Now he can take a bath and he is eating.”However, if Bode does not receive a transplant, the consequences would be dire.”If he doesn’t get a transplant within a year, he will go deaf and his kidneys will start failing,” said Lori Archer, a media coordinator for the Children’s Organ Transplant Association.But Everist said that with Bode’s health stabilizing, they hope they can push off the transplant surgery until he is older and the success rate for the procedure is higher. If he can wait to have the surgery until he is five years old, the success rate will climb to 98 percent.Allison said that the support they have received from the surrounding community has been overwhelming.”So far it has been fabulous. We’ve been having community support through the roof,” she said.

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