Community Donors Provide Funding for Brandy Stroeder

06/22/00    Portland, Ore.

Close to $200,000 Has Been Raised for 18-Year-Old Who Needs a Liver-Lung Transplant

Mark Hemstreet, owner of Shilo Inns, and many other community donors have raised nearly $200,000 to go toward a liver-lung transplant for Brandy Stroeder. Stroeder is the 18-year-old Oregon Health Sciences University's Doernbecher Children's Hospital patient who needs a combined liver and lung transplant due to her severe case of cystic fibrosis. Stroeder's insurer, the Oregon Health Plan, has denied coverage of the procedure. The Stroeders are challenging that decision in court.

"Like so many other people, I've been touched by Brandy's story and wanted to do what I could to help expedite proper medical attention for this brave girl," said Hemstreet. He has pledged his assistance and $125,000 to the Stroeder family to go towards the estimated $250,000 transplant costs. Community donations would help cover the remainder of costs.

"Thanks to everyone involved in fund-raising, donations and prayers for our family," said Karen Stroeder, Brandy's mom.

Oregon Health Sciences University and Stroeder's medical team have referred her to Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., to have the procedure performed. Stanford has established a combined liver-lung transplant program with two patients currently on the waiting list. If it declines to perform the procedure due to insufficient financial support, OHSU will consider whether it is feasible for its own medical team to perform the liver-lung transplant. OHSU's transplant teams perform liver and lung transplants separately, but have not done them together. Transplant physicians from University Medical Group have offered to waive their professional fees if OHSU provides the transplants. "Although this is a high-risk procedure that has been infrequently performed, it could represent Brandy's best chance for survival," said Michael Geheb, M.D., senior vice president of OHSU clinical programs.

Stroeder is scheduled to be evaluated for transplantation at Stanford on July 17, which the Oregon Health Plan has agreed to cover. If her evaluation proves that she medically qualifies for the transplant, she will be put on the waiting list to receive a liver and lung. The funding support from Hemstreet and other community members will help provide the backing needed for the next phase of the process.