In Nov. 21 IssueRussell County News
Russell County's Barbara Appleby spent many years as a freelance artist for the gift card industry and just recently she used her talents for more than just bringing a smile to someone’s face with a pretty card; she is helping those in need.
She donated original artwork to the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life organ donation awareness program for use in their holiday card fundraising effort.
So why did she choose to support the Satterwhite Recipient Assistance Fund, a part of the Trust for Life?
“This is something that is important to me,” she said. Indeed it is.
John Appleby, Barbara's son, was 18 when he lost his kidneys to Good Pasture Syndrome the first time.
“He received a kidney transplant about four years later,” Barbara said. “He grabbed a hold of life and enjoyed life to the fullest for 13 years before the transplanted kidney started failing.”
She said her son was not just a number or a name on a list.
“He was a son, brother, dad, best friend, champion pool player, master fisherman and master guitar player,” she said. “He was always helping someone in need. That was a large part of his purpose in life.”
She said when the family didn't have the means to get John back and forth to dialysis and for hospital visits she asked Russell County Circuit Court Clerk Tony Kerr if he knew any thing that might be of help.
“Tony told me about the Satterwhite Recipient Assistance Fund,” she said. “They helped us get John where he needed to go,” she said.
She has donated her artwork for the holiday cards in loving memory of her son who benefited from the Judge Satterwhite Memorial Fund. But, 13 years after being given a second chance at life his donated kidney began to fail and he was again, placed on the national waiting list for a life-saving transplant. John lost is battle on June 16 of this year while waiting on his second kidney transplant.
Barbara said she thought the least she could do now was to give the Trust For Life some illustrations of Christmas cards she had done.
“John thought it was a great idea and he picked them out and we sent them off,” she said. “The Trust for Life had not done Christmas cards like these before and said yes they did want them.”
“I'm sorry that John didn't live to see them printed and to hold them in his hand,” she said. “Some how I think he knows and is cheering them on saying 'Way to go, mom!'
She said she hopes everyone that hears about the cards will stand together and help out by buying them. “This act of kindness will give people that need organ and tissue transplants a chance at the life that they so richly deserve,” she said.
The Trust For Life used Appleby’s donation to design four holiday cards that are being sold in packs of 20 to raise money for the Satterwhite Fund. All of the proceeds from the card sales will benefit the fund.
“As the need for transplantable organs continues to rise, so do the requests for Satterwhite Fund grants. In order to continue supporting Kentuckians in need, we depend on the generosity of people like Barbara Appleby,” said Monica Johnson, interim director of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life. “Her support and the donation of her artwork are genuinely appreciated and will ultimately help someone in need.” The Trust For Life, which has existed since 1992, established the Judge Satterwhite Memorial Fund in 2001, in memory of Charles Satterwhite, Kentucky’s youngest Circuit Court Judge and double lung transplant recipient.
Satterwhite was a strong advocate for organ donation awareness until his death in 1998.
The Satterwhite Fund was created in his honor, to assist Kentucky organ transplant recipients in need.
The fund is designed to provide financial grants to help with expenses related to transplant surgery, but not necessary covered by medical insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.
Often Satterwhite Fund grants are used for transportation, room and board and travel expenses for transplant patients and their family members during the time of transplant and follow-up care.
The Satterwhite Fund began assisting Kentucky transplant patients in 2001.
Since then, it has benefited 302 recipients from 77 counties, with grants totaling over $200,000.
Funds for the Satterwhite Fund are raised through a number of fundraising activities, including golf outings, individual donations and other efforts. Currently more than 103,000 Americans, including nearly 740 Kentuckians, are waiting on life-saving organ transplants.
Sadly, 18 people die waiting each day. One donor can save or enhance up to 50 lives in need. Nearly 690,000 Kentuckians, including more than 2,700 Russell County residents, have indicated their willingness to save lives by joining the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry.
Appleby urges all Russell County residents to join the registry the next time you visit Circuit Clerk Tony Kerr to renew your driver’s license or by visiting www.DonateLifeKY.orgor more information, or to place an order for the Judge Satterwhite Memorial Fund holiday cards, designed by Russell County's own Barbara Appleby, please visit www.TrustForLife.org or call the Trust For Life, or toll free at 866-945-5433.