New Bern’s Jazlyn McRavin Needs Kidney Transplant
For years, Jazlyn McRavin was often ill. She regularly suffered from vomiting, fatigue, joint pain and other illnesses.
In 2014, after starting her freshman year of high school at Craven Early College, Jazlyn was diagnosed with systemic lupus and lupus nephritis. As a result of her lupus treatments, she was also diagnosed with avascular necrosis.
Systemic lupus is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks its own tissues. It can cause inflammation and tissue damage and affect the joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels. Lupus nephritis is inflammation of the kidney caused by systemic lupus and avascular necrosis, which occurs in people with lupus, affects the hips, shoulders, and knees.
Jazlyn received her high school diploma and two associate degrees from Craven Early College. In the fall of 2019, she traveled to UNC-Wilmington to begin her freshman year of college. Sadly, after about two months in college, Jazlyn fell ill again.
She was diagnosed with pneumonia and returned home to New Bern where she remained in hospital for a week. During her stay, she was told by her doctors that her lupus nephritis was no longer in remission and was scarring in her kidney and that at some point she would need a new kidney. It happened much earlier than expected.
Jazlyn fell ill again in February 2020 and after trying all other options she was told she should start dialysis, which she currently takes another 3 days a week. She is currently awaiting a kidney transplant.
The cost of a kidney transplant can be very high as well as the cost of post-operative care for the organ recipient. Jazlyn currently has Medicare and Medicaid as well as Tricare. Tricare normally covers dependents up to the age of 26 if they are still students. However, due to Jazlyn’s illness, she cannot attend school and her benefits will expire at the age of 21. This is where COTA.org comes in.
“I went through the various information that was given to me and I went through a brochure on COTA.org,” said Katrina Longmire, Jazlyn’s mother.
According to their website, the Children’s Organ Transplant Association or COTA.org helps children and young adults in need of life-saving transplants by providing them with fundraising assistance and family support. COTA.org does not charge for their services and 100% of all funds raised are available for patient transplant expenses.
“The organization seemed better organized and there was no charge, so all the money would go to Jazlyn for her care,” said Longmire. “The only problem was that I had to find someone to act as a community coordinator to oversee the fundraising. Because part of their policy is that as a parent, I couldn’t be the person to do it. do it. “
Katrina Longmire works as a police officer in New Bern, and although she enjoys a good relationship with her co-workers, she was a private person and had not discussed her daughter’s health issues with others at her work. Most had no idea what their family was going through.
In the stages Greg Smith who is also employed by the New Bern Police Department as an Evidence Technician. He was recommended to Longmire by another colleague.
When I was asked, I said I would let him know because I wanted to research COTA.org first, but I already knew I was going to do it, Smith said.
Several other NBPD officers also stepped in as volunteers through COTA.org to help including Sgt. Paul Brown and Sgt. Will Hollowell.
The goal is to raise $ 30,000, which is at the bottom of what is actually needed. To date, almost $ 7,000 has been raised.
“People think if they donate it must be $ 25, $ 50 or more, but it doesn’t have to be that much,” Smith said.
According to the latest census, New Bern has around 30,000 residents and if only half of those residents could donate $ 1 to $ 5, we could meet our goal, he said.
Some people think the police don’t need help, Smith continued, but they are citizens like everyone else and sometimes they need help too, he said.
Currently, several fundraisers are planned and more are to be expected. Nine Limbs Strikers, a local martial arts and fitness training center, sells raffle tickets for a chance to win a free one-week membership or one of three private boxing training packages . They are also running a youth boxing clinic on May 1 from 9 a.m. to noon, with all proceeds going towards the costs of the transplant.
Without Limits Christian Center will host a “Pasta with a Purpose” Spaghetti Benefit Luncheon from 11 am to 2 pm on May 14th. Dinners cost $ 10 per person and can be purchased by visiting the Without Limits Christian Center, 102 Washington Post Road in New Bern or online at wlcconline.com/shop.
Due to the COVID pandemic and the severity of her illness, Jazlyn doesn’t have many visitors and won’t be attending fundraisers, but wants everyone to know how grateful she is for their donations and their prayers. “I really appreciate everything people are doing to help me,” Jazlyn said.
If anyone would like to learn more about COTA.org or donate to Jazlyn, please visit https://cota.org/campaigns/COTAforJazlynsFight/blog/our-story. If anyone would like to organize a fundraiser, you can contact Greg Smith at 252-626-8987. All donations are tax deductible.