It's good to have friends, regardless of who you are. For Jason Timmerman, having friends will make the burden of his living expenses more affordable for years to come.
Jason has spent the last two and a half years waiting for a double organ transplant. He's had kidney failure, which left him on dialysis, and is a severe diabetic. His doctors have said a kidney and pancreas transplant will provide a chance at a full life.
"Hopefully, if I can get a pancreas as well as a kidney, it will get rid of the diabetes," Jason said.
While the benefits of the transplant are numerous, the results can be difficult to handle financially. Even a successful transplant recipient must take medications for the rest of his or her life to prevent rejection of the organ, or organs, in Jason's case.
The expense of these medications can be huge, costing thousands of dollars a year. But Jason has lifetime friends like Kathleen Usry on his side.
"I have gone to Sweetwater Baptist Church for most of my life, and I have watched Jason grow up there," Ms. Usry said.
Ms. Usry cited their love for music as a connection she's always had with Jason, and she remembers participating in musicals with him. In her eyes, the fund she has started, with the help of numerous other volunteers like co-chairman Sidney Campbell, is the only way to respond.
"That's the way I live my life," she said. "When one of your friends needs your help, you help them."
With the help of the Georgia Transplant Fund, this group of friends could raise $20,000 or more. The Georgia Transplant fund will match a donation of up to $10,000, but Ms. Usry said her group has no intentions to stop there.
"We'll go as far as we can go," she said, "but that's our immediate goal."
The fund, which was started in July, has already raised $2,200.
In the meantime, Jason has lost some eyesight as a result of his diabetes. But with therapy and post-transplant medications, he could one day return to work. For Jason, that prospect would be a very positive one.
"I'm hoping that one day I can go back to work and get some normalcy back in my life." he said.
Donations can be made to the Jason B. Timmerman Transplant Fund by taking money directly to a Regions Bank location in Thomson or by contacting Ms. Usry at 595-6659 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available on Mr. Timmerman's website, www.flo2teach.com.