Friends, family raising money for cystic fibrosis patient

Friends and family are collecting donations to help pay for large medical bills adding up for a young Estacada woman with cystic fibrosis.

Johni Keller, 22-year-old daughter of Janis and the late John Keller, was born with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder with no cure that affects the pulmonary and digestive systems in the body. She has spent much of her teenage years in hospitals, enduring painful procedures just to stay alive.

'Since I have known her, she has never complained,' said Bonnie Wojdan, mother of Keller's boyfriend, Brandon Wojdan. 'In fact, she usually apologizes when a caregiver can't get a needle in her. When her family and friends are worried, she comforts us.'

Despite her illness, Keller has one more year of college to finish. During her college years, she has had to retake some classes because of missing too many lectures. She often has spent her holiday breaks and spring breaks in the hospital.

Now, Keller is preparing to take time off for a lung transplant. Her insurance will cover the procedure itself, which will be done at California's Stanford University Hospital transplant center. Insurance doesn't cover her expenses during recovery and other costs.

'She will need her family with her at this time, which means plane tickets and housing for them,' Wojdan said. 'Johni needs all the support she can get for these hard times ahead.'

Donations can be made at any Key Bank to the Johni Keller fund.

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