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For week ended February 20, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Joyce Feustel

Friends turn out to raise money for woman getting new kidney
Lincoln NE Journal Star 20Feb00 D1
By Fred Knapp: Lincoln Journal Star

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA -- "Kelly's Walk for Life" took place on Saturday amid melting snow and rivulets of water as  between 50 to 70 LDS members from her home ward decided to do something to help offset the tremendous cost of the kidney transplant which Kelly Bittle is facing in Omaha on Tuesday.

Kelly is 39 years old and will need medication costing between $3000 and $5000 per month for the rest of her life. The operation alone will cost approximately $150,000. While she and her husband, Steven, both have jobs, their insurance will not cover the cost because it is considered a pre-existing condition.

Mick Smith, a member of the Bittles ward said, "It's just the love of being able to help people. You do what should be done, and that is to help."

Bittle was optimistic about her future when asked about her feelings. "I have a lot going for me. A family member is willing to donate a kidney, and there are new kidney anti-rejection drugs on the market."

"It's overwhelming," Steve Bittle said of the tremendous support supplied by the friends of the family. "It is a wonderful feeling and we just sit home at night and cry at the love and support shown us."

The Bittles will still need financial assistance despite the fund raiser on Saturday by friends. Tax deductible contributions may be sent to National Transplant Assistance fund, P.O. Box 258, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. A local fund has been set up at Union Bank and Trust Co., P.O. Box 82535, Lincoln, NE 68506. Kelly Bittle's name should appear in the memo line of any checks.


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