By Richard Rourk
With Thanksgiving less than a month away, this is a time to reflect on what is important in life. For most, a healthy family would be near the top of the list of things to be thankful for.
For sisters Tracy Foster and Robin Bowman, a healthy family takes on even more meaning as their brother, Gerald Foster, is fighting for his life.
Gerald is in need of a liver transplant. Because of his liver trouble, he is also having to fight kidney issues.
Hope is on the horizon, though. Gerald is near the top of the list for a liver transplant. This means that he can receive a call any minute that a liver is available. Once Gerald and his family receive that call, they have six hours to be in Nashville.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center is where Gerald will have his liver transplant. To ensure that he gets to Nashville in time, he will need to be airlifted.
“MedFlight will transport him once we get the call there is a match,” Tracy told The Erwin Record.
Once Gerald arrives at the hospital, the medical staff will prepare him for the transplant. The prep will take roughly six hours.
Gerald is in good spirits and his family’s faith is strong, according to Tracy.
“He is getting better every week, and we know God has got it and God has carried us this far,” she said.
Besides the medical costs, the Fosters will need to find a place to stay while Gerald recovers. To help offset the costs, family and friends are doing everything they can to raise awareness and funds for Gerald and his family.
Friends and family of the Fosters have created the hashtag, #All4Gerald. Team Gerald is holding a spaghetti dinner on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 4-7 p.m. at the Unicoi County High School cafeteria. To go orders will be available, but you must purchase a ticket for the meal.
Live entertainment will be presented at the dinner from the Unicoi County Bluegrass Band. Tickets will be a $5 donation and they are available at the Unicoi County Register of Deeds office, Unicoi County High School, Liberty Lumber and Clinchfield Federal Credit Union.
There are T-shirts available for purchase at the All4Gerald Facebook page.
If you cannot make the event but wish to donate, an account has been set up at Clinchfield Federal Credit Union under the name Team Gerald.
If there are any businesses that wish to sponsor or help with fundraising, please contact Debbie Tittle at 306-6895.
For more information and updates of Gerald’s journey, please check out the All4Gerald Facebook page. Team Gerald would like to thank everyone who supports Foster in his journey.