Fundraiser in Ballard for teenager in need of double-lung transplant

Kayla Healy is a 17-year-old high school senior who has lived with Cystic Fibrosis for her entire life. Unfortunately Kayla’s disease has progressed to the point that she needs a double lung transplant to save her life, and her family is turning to the community to help them raise the money for the procedure.

Though the realities of her disease are nothing new, Kayla has never let her Cystic Fibrosis limit her. At her young age she has stayed as active as possible, even competing in three triathlons. From Kayla’s website:

Kayla has been hospitalized many times throughout her life and has rigorous daily routine of treatments and medications to keep her lungs functioning. The hospitalizations have become more and more frequent and her medication and treatment routines have increased. Recently Kayla has learned that her degenerative disease has progressed to a stage that she is in need of a double lung transplant to save her life. She is currently awaiting her new lungs and looking forward to many activities her current lungs don’t allow her to do. With her new lungs she plans on taking some deep breaths, play softball, snowboard and ski and even run again.

The cost for a double lung transplant is somewhere between $600,000 and $1,000,000, and even with two insurance policies, Kayla’s family will have to pay upwards of $100,000 out of pocket for the surgery and associated medical costs. So Kayla’s family has taken to fundraising in the community to come up with the additional funds. Kayla’s uncle, Queen Anne resident Matt Gangemi, is doing his part by putting on a fundraiser soiree for Kayla that he hopes will get them the rest of the way.

“We’ve gone a long way toward raising this money,” Matt says, but the family is still shy of their goal. As of noon on Tuesday Kayla’s family has raised $92,216.29 of its $100,000 goal, leaving just $7,783.71. to go.

Matt is putting on a soiree and silent auction on Saturday, July 9 (6 p.m. to midnight) at the Ballard Elks Lodge (6411 Seaview Ave NW0 to help raise the remaining funds for Kayla’s surgery. The fundraiser will include wine, beer, hors d’oeuvres, dessert, live music, dancing, a photo booth, and over 70 items for auction. All proceeds will go toward Kayla’s medical costs. Tickets are $40 per person, or $75 for a pair. Details can be found at the Facebook event page, or at COTAforKayla.com. To purchase tickets, click here. If you can’t make it to the soiree, but would like to make a donation to support Kayla, you can do so here.

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