Colleen Leal is awaiting a lifesaving, double-lung transplant

by: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Now that Aloha resident Colleen Leal is on a national lung transplant list, she hopes to one day soon unhook from her breathing machine and be able to catch up with her young grandson.For Colleen Leal of Aloha every breath is a struggle as she awaits a lifesaving, double-lung transplant.

In 2008, she began experiencing a nagging cough. Although doctors originally thought she was suffering from environmental allergies, additional testing led to a diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis.

The average double-lung transplant costs approximately $800,000. Even with health insurance, which will cover the cost of the transplant itself, she still faces significant medical expenses related to the surgery. She will need a lifetime of follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications.

To help alleviate the financial burden, Leal turned to the National Foundation for Transplants for assistance with some of these financial burdens.The foundation is a nonprofit organization that helps patients raise funds to pay for transplant-related expenses.

“I’m so hopeful that this will be the year a donor is found for Colleen,” said Kay Horne, fundraising consultant with the foundation. “At NFT, we want to help her raise the funds she needs so she can focus on her health, happiness and her loved ones, not her medical expenses.”

On Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m., the Mad Greek Deli, 18450 N.W. West Union Road in Bethany will donate 25 percent of its proceeds to the foundation in Leal’s honor.

Patrons must present an event flyer for a portion of their sales to help the fundraiser.

The band Patina will play at 7 p.m., and drawings for raffle winners will occur every 30 minutes. Raffle prizes include tickets for a Chris Isaak concert and gift certificates and baskets from local vendors, including Mad Greek Deli, Pizza Caboose, Sweet Tomatoes, Vertigo Brewing, Trader Joes, Quail Valley Golf, Claremont Golf, Stanfords, P.F. Chang’s, Old Chicago, Buffalo Wild Wings and 65 other items.

For more information or to obtain a flyer, contact John Hesselgrave at 503-319-4164 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

To make a tax-deductible donation in honor of Leal, visit Donors should click on “Find an NFT Patient” to locate Leal.

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