June 08, 2015
Cruz A. Gonzalez Jr. needs $5,000 to save his life.
The 48-year-old Philadelphia resident is currently living without a functioning kidney but, fortunately, two of his relatives are organ donation matches.
The bad news: Both are in the Dominican Republic and neither Gonzalez nor his relatives have the financial resources to fly to New York -- where the surgery is expected to be performed -- or pay for post-operation care.
"We need the following funds for airfare, U.S. B-2 Medical Visa processing fees, travel expenses and some overnight lodging while undergoing further tests before the surgery. My insurances [will cover] his medical expenses which include the surgery and medications. He will require a 30-day recuperation period prior to flying back home," Cruz wrote on a GoFundMe site he and his wife created to raise donations.
"I found the love of my life and I want to grow old with her. I want to enjoy life," Cruz A. Gonzalez Jr. said.
"I found the love of my life and I want to grow old with her. I want to enjoy life," Gonzalez Jr. told A Plus reporter Mandy Velez. "I don't want to die."
If he raises the money he will undergo surgery in the fall.
Gonzalez, who is Puerto Rican, isn't unique to U.S. minorities. Currently, more than 23,000 Latinos are waiting for an organ transplant and make up more than half of the people on donor transplant lists, but face greater obstacles than non-Hispanic Whites in part due to the overwhelming financial costs at stake for transplant recipients.
"My health is spiraling downward so we need to get this transplant before it truly is too late for me," he wrote.