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Proud Father Needs a Transplant

Portland family reaches out for gift of life donations

7/17/2013, 10:25 a.m.
Larry Gibson

In 2011, Larry Gibson’s children suddenly lost their mother. His children don’t want to lose their father, and his grandchildren don’t want to lose their “big daddy!”

The Portland resident, proud father and grandfather needs a life saving transplant and his family is trying to raise donations to make that happen.

Gibson was born in Belzoni, Miss., but raised in Portland. He was the first-born of Maggie Gibson’s three children. At the age of four, he had a rare bone infection at which time his parents were told he would never walk again, but he did! When he was 12, he lost his father. Then at age 17, he was elbowed in his left eye while working which resulted in its surgical removal. None of these challenges kept him from moving on with life, and raising a family.

In 2005, Gibson was diagnosed with Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease which caused him to retire from his career as a chef with Bon Appetit at the University of Portland. He was placed on oxygen 24 hours a day and endured many hospitalizations, including seven days spent on life support in 2007.

Doctors have determined that Gibson’s only hope for a return to a life of good health is a lung transplant. He has been evaluated at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, and is now on the waiting list for the gift of life - a transplant. He needs this transplant so that he can watch his three wonderful grandchildren grow up.

Transplants save lives but are very expensive. Few families have the resources to meet the financial obligations of such a major procedure. Insurance will only cover 80 percent of this surgery. Other expenses include traveling to Seattle for pre- and post- surgery evaluations, housing for Gibson and a caregiver for up to six months, and life-long post-transplant medications.

To help with Larry Gibson’s out-of-pocket expenses, a fundraising campaign in his honor has been established through HelpHOPELive, a nonprofit organization that has been assisting the transplant community for 30 years.

All donations are tax-deductible, are held by HelpHOPELive in the Northwest Lung Transplant Fund, and are administered by HelpHOPELive for transplant-related expenses only. Gibson’s family thanks the community for considering making a contribution:

Checks can be made payable to HelpHOPELive with a note in the memo section indicated the contribution is in honor of Larry Gibson, and mailed to HelpHOPELive, 2 Radnor Corporate Center, 100 Matsonford Road, Suite 100, Radnor, PA 19087. For credit card contributions, call 800-642-8399.

The Gibson family thanks the Portland community for their prayers and generosity. For more information, you can email Jameka Gibson at jamekalaree@gmail.com or Maggie Gibson at tacobill46@hotmail.com.