By Courtney Llewellyn
Reminder Assistant Editor
In August 2008, Pauline Beaulieu came to The Reminder and its readers to ask for help, not for herself but for her friends, Don and Phyllis Chretien of Springfield. A few years ago Don had been diagnosed with end-stage liver disease caused by hepatitis C, and he needed a liver transplant.
"The waiting list in Boston for a transplant was huge," Beaulieu said. "They get a high number of transplants done in Florida because the Mayo Clinic there is a transplant hospital."
Don and Phyllis moved to Jacksonville, Fla., in November 2007 to wait for a new liver for Don and, in dire straits, were soon living off their credit cards. Beaulieu stepped up and hosted fundraisers to help the couple out.
At the beginning of December, Beaulieu thanked all those who had donated, no matter what amount, for their assistance. Don had received a new liver three days before Thanksgiving.
"He was doing so well," Beaulieu told Reminder Publications. "He was expecting to come home, but it backfired. The hepatitis C attacked his new liver. The man almost died not once, not twice but three times before he got his second liver [about a month ago]."
Beaulieu said now it's like starting all over again for the Chretiens. While Don is still in the hospital, as of Feb. 18, he was out of the Intensive Care Unit.
"They're very proud people," Beaulieu said. "They always said they were OK, OK, OK."
According to Beaulieu, however, they're not OK just yet. That's why she is pleading once more for anyone who is able to give.
Don recently overcame a bout with jaundice that set in after his second liver was transplanted, but he is now dealing with 30 pounds of fluid retention. It will be another few months before Don and Phyllis can come home.
"Pauline is begging you [for help]," Beaulieu said.
Donations to Don's cause are tax-deductible and, if there comes a point when Don no longer needs the support, the funds in his name will go to someone else who needs them.
Beaulieu said Don already has someone in mind he wants to aid financially a 21-year-old woman he's made close friends with who is awaiting her fourth liver transplant.
Anyone interested in making a donation can make a check payable to NTAF Northeast Liver Transplant Fund. On the memo line include "In Honor of Don Chretien." Checks can be mailed to National Transplant Assistance Fund, 150 N. Radnor Chester Rd., Suite F-120, Radnor, PA 19087.
For more information contact Beaulieu at email@example.com.
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