Fellowship Bible Church in Gardner had a parking lot full of yard sale items on the weekend of May 6. This sale was a fundraiser for Pier Cappelatti of Edgerton, who is in need of a liver transplant. If you missed the sale but would like to donate, go to www.transplants.org, click on ‘Find an NFT Patient’ and then enter his name. Photos courtesy of Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
Pier Cappelatti, 61, has lived in Edgerton for 36 years and loves the small town.
He and his wife Kelly raised their four kids in Edgerton and now have six grandchildren. He has always enjoyed spending time with his family, camping, fishing, hunting and just being outdoors.
Today, Pier Cappelatti is fighting for his life.
Fellowship Bible Church in Gardner hosted a fundraising sale on May 6 for Cappelatti, who is in need of a liver transplant.
In January 2016, he became ill and was hospitalized with septicemia. In February, he was diagnosed with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis caused by fatty liver disease. In March, doctors said his condition is considered end stage. That basically means the only hope of survival is a successful liver transplant.
In March 2016, he was not eligible for the transplant list, because his body mass index was too high – but that has changed since then.
“Over the course of this past year he has lost 140 pounds and has gone through all of the medical evaluations. Now he does qualify for a transplant and is on the list at KU Med,” said his wife, Kelly.
Pier Cappelatti is now 100 percent disabled, and Kelly can’t go to work either because he can’t be left alone for long in his condition.
“I can leave him for short periods of time, but I couldn’t leave him to go to work, because when he goes downhill, he goes downhill very quickly. When he needs medical attention, he needs it very quickly. Today, for example, is a bad day,” said Kelly Cappelatti.
A serious illness such as this also brings overwhelming financial challenges along with it.
The average liver transplant costs approximately $740,000. Health insurance will only cover a portion of that cost, and there will be other significant expenses related to the surgery.
In addition, for the rest of his life, he will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. Post-transplant medications are very expensive, and they’re as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.
A fund to help the Capellatti’s has been set up at the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT). To make donations online, go to www.transplants.org, click on ‘Find an NFT Patient’ and then enter his name.
Donations can also be sent by mail to the: NFT Kansas Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Avenue, Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write “in honor of Pier Cappelatti” on the memo line.