Golf tournament helps transplant patient

Friends of Snoqualmie resident Nate Gunderson, who is recovering from a heart transplant, are planning a golf tournament near Olympia, Wash., to help with his expenses.

The tournament is Sunday, Aug. 23, at Capitol City Golf Course, 5225 Yelm Highway S.E. in Lacey. Admission for the golf scramble is $100 per player or $400 per team and includes green fees, cart, range balls and lunch.

In April, Gunderson, 31, was diagnosed with bacterial endocarditis, and the doctors then learned that the bacteria around his heart had eaten a hole through one of his heart valves.

Gunderson received a lifesaving heart transplant Sunday, July 5, at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. But, his struggles will not end with the transplant. A heart transplant costs more than $750,000. Even with medical coverage, Gunderson and his wife, Genevieve, will face significant expenses. For the rest of his life, he will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. The cost of post-transplant medications can range from $2000 to $5,000 per month — and they are as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.

To help alleviate some of these financial burdens, Gunderson turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance. NFT is a nonprofit organization based in Memphis, Tenn. that helps patients raise funds to pay for transplant-related expenses.

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