With beautiful blonde hair, sky blue eyes and an optimistic personality....Jessica seems to have it all. But her life isn't perfect.
Jessica says, "There are days when I can't get out of bed...days I'm in bed in pain...and I have a lot stuff going on."
That stuff...all stems from cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that affects the lungs and pancreas. Jessica was diagnosed at birth as was her brother who is two years younger.
CF makes a table full of medicine a daily necessity for Jessica. "I'm on antibiotics..IV antibiotics. I take them every 6 hours, Jessica says."
"I take aerosol treatments every 4 to 6 hours. I take 40 pills everyday. I take digestive enzymes with everything I eat. I'm diabetic as well...which is part of cystic fibrosis and I give myself insulin shots."
It's a regimen which didn't stop Jessica from achieving her dream. She graduated from her beloved University of Florida with a degree in public relations. It was during those college years that an antibiotic she was taking had a nasty side effect: It caused her to lose 30% of her hearing. She now wears a hearing aid in both ears.
Jessica's has a home health care nurse who visits every week. She draws Jessica's blood, cleans the port implanted in her chest and checks her overall health.
Cystic Fibrosis causes sticky, think mucus to build up in the lungs so respiratory therapy is needed daily from birth on up.
Normally, Jessica has a therapist come to her house...but many days her father helps out with the 30 minute treatment.
Jessica says the respiratory therapy, which is also known as clapping, " Allows me to breathe and expel the mucus and therefore gives me clearer lungs."
Even with daily therapy and medications Jessica’s lungs have taken a beating over her 25 years. 6 months ago she found out she needs a double lung transplant. Since she recently lost her insurance Jessica, her friends and family are actively fundraising so she can afford to get the surgery that will change and save her life.
Does she dream of getting new lungs? Jessica says, "I've talked to people that have had lungs and they say it's miraculous you wake up and you can breathe. I really can't imagine it."
Jessica needs to raise at least 100-thousand dollars for the surgery. So far, $18,500 dollars have been raised. You can help make her double lung transplant possible. Here's how: A campaign is being conducted under the supervision of the Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA). COTA is a 501 (c) 3 non profit organization, and all donations are fully tax deductible. Visit www.cota.orghttp://www.cota.org/> for more details. Please visit www.cotaforjessicam.com to find out more information about Jessica's campaign. You can also find a calendar of events, find information about being a volunteer on the team and make a credit card donation.
Checks can be sent to the following address:
CHILDRENS ORGAN TRANSPLANT ASSOCIATION
2501 W. COTA DRIVE BLOOMINGTON, IN 47403
Write JESSICA MAKRIS on the memo line.
Tickets are still available for the next fundraising event at the IMPROV Comedy Club in Cityplace on Thursday February 25th at 8pm. Joy Koy is the featured comedian. Tickets are only $20 per couple and can be purchased through any campaign volunteer and by going on her website and clicking on events www.COTAforJessicaM.comhttp://www.cotaforjessicam.com/>
Also on Jessica's birthday on February 22nd people are asked to go to her website and pledge $2, $6, $26, or $260 dollars in honor of her 26th birthday.
Please view the link to Jessica's website for her full biography and general campaign information. As for information on the Children's Organ Transplant Association, you can view their site direct at www.COTA.orghttp://www.cota.org/> Since CF is a childhood illness, all fundraising for Jessica has been through this organization. All funds raised for Jessica through COTA are 100%. The organization itself does its own fundraising for their operating costs, so the recipient being fundraised for keep all funds. Additionally, COTA does have matching and incentive programs to assist in the process.
How people can donate money, in kind contributions or volunteer to help:
Facebook: COTA for Jessica Makris
To contact the campaign directly you can reach Danielle Dworkowitz at 561-329-0942 or email@example.com:firstname.lastname@example.org>