Valentine’s banquet to benefit man needing kidney transplant
Published 6:43 pm Friday, February 5, 2016
By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer
CHELSEA – An organ transplant is expensive, but add the cost of medications necessary to maintain a patient’s health after transplantation, and the amount of money needed can be astronomically high.
Union, The Church at Chelsea Park UMC, will hold a Valentine’s Day-themed event to raise money for a local man waiting for a much-needed kidney transplant.
Proceeds from a Valentine’s banquet, dubbed “An Expression of Love,” to be held Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the church’s gym will go to 45-year-old Michael Shaw to help pay for a portion of his upcoming medical expenses related to transplantation.
“Transplantation is expensive and UAB, my transplant center, has informed me of the high uninsured cost of anti-rejection drugs, immunosuppressant medications, doctor visits, co-pays and test that I will be doing for the rest of my life,” Shaw wrote. “Donors can be sure that funds donated will be used only to pay or reimburse medically-related expenses and equipment.”
Shaw was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of kidney disease called IgA nephropathy in April 2014.
IgA is a hereditary disease and causes the immune system to overreact to upper respiratory infections such as pneumonia, which in turn causes kidney failure, Shaw wrote.
“I am currently on a restrictive diet and peritoneal dialysis for eight hours every day,” he wrote. “I currently work full-time and do side jobs when available. Thank you in advance for any help you can give to help me reach my goal of receiving a transplant which will vastly improve my quality of life and allow me to continue to work and be with my family.”
Shaw has a wife, a 19-year-old son and an 18-month-old son.
Born in Tampa, Fla., in 1971, Shaw was raised in Wilsonville and graduated from Shelby County High School in 1989.
He joined the U.S. Army for eight years and served two tours in Desert Storm and Shield.
He attended Virginia College and has been a computer network technician for the past 24 years.
An account called “Hope for Michael Shaw and Family” has been set up at Regions Bank.
Norma Lovorn, chairwoman of the banquet, said the annual event has been held for about 15 years, but this year’s banquet is the first to serve as a fundraiser for Shaw.
“This cause is so important for us,” Lovorn said. “This guy is the most humble, God-loving guy you’ll ever meet. He doesn’t talk about what he’s going through.”
Lovorn said the Shaw family will be present at the banquet.
“I just want to help Michael,” Lovorn said. “(He is) such a good man.”
The church is located at 4321 Highway 32 in Chelsea, just behind Chelsea Park at the corner of highways 51 and 32.