On Tuesday, Nov. 8, the community is invited to Painting With a Twist, 5625 E. Virginia St. in Evansville, to help raise funds in honor of a local woman awaiting a lifesaving transplant.

In 2012, Sarah Szczepanski, of Evansville, was diagnosed with glomerulonephritis, which came as somewhat of a surprise because the disease had previously only affected males in her family. Doctors say a kidney transplant is necessary.

The average kidney transplant costs approximately $335,000. And that’s only the beginning. Even with insurance, which will cover a portion of the transplant costs, Szczepanski still faces significant expenses related to the surgery. For the rest of her life, she will need follow-up care and anti-rejection medications, which are critical to her survival.

When she receives her transplant, Szczepanski, 26, must temporarily relocate 135 miles to be near the hospital during recovery, incurring substantial costs for travel, food and lodging.

For fundraising support and guidance, Szczepanski turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance with some of these financial burdens. NFT is a nonprofit organization based in Memphis, Tenn. that helps patients offset their transplant-related expenses through their community-based fundraising program.

“Sarah is surrounded by a great group of family and friends,” said Claire Prince, NFT fundraising consultant. “And I think that makes a huge difference for anyone going through such an overwhelming time. At NFT, we want Sarah to raise the funds she needs to focus on her health and well-being instead of constantly worrying about medical bills.

The Painting With a Twist event will be held Nov. 8 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and entry is $35. A portion of the evening’s sales will go to NFT to help with Szczepanski’s transplant-related expenses.

For more information, contact Will Compton at will_compton@gmx.com.

To make a tax-deductible donation in honor of Szczepanski, please send a contribution to the NFT Indiana Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write “in honor of Sarah Szczepanski” on the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online at www.transplants.org. Donors should click on “Find an NFT Patient” to locate Szczepanski.

About NFT

NFT is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Memphis, Tenn. that has been helping transplant patients overcome financial obstacles since 1983. NFT provides fundraising expertise to transplant patients by organizing fundraising campaigns in the patients’ own communities. NFT’s fundraising campaigns have generated nearly $77 million to assist patients. NFT assists more than 2,500 transplant candidates and recipients nationwide. For more information about NFT, please call 800-489-3863 or visit www.transplants.org.