WINTERPORT – We’re in the season of giving, and in that spirit we’d like to share the story of a young man and his battle with cystic fibrosis. He’s currently fighting for a lung transplant, and is asking for a little help.
What do you want for Christmas? A familiar question during this time of year. In a season filled with gift giving and gift getting it can be easy to get lost in the material things. But for some, the needs far outweigh the wants.
“I waited 18 months for my liver,” said Anthony Cote. “So I mean it could be another 18 months, and I will have to go down to Boston every month during that time.”
Cote is 24 years young. At 9 months old, he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. The genetic disease has already put him through a liver transplant, and now he needs new lungs.
“In 2014 I got a really nasty cold and my lungs collapsed,” he said.
Over a two year span, Anthony’s lungs collapsed again and again. They’re now operating at a capacity of 16 percent as he fights for another transplant.
“I’ve only been going through the evaluation process for a month now and I’ve already been to Boston four times, Portland twice, several appointments in Bangor,” said Cote.
Anthony and his family are still paying off bills from his liver transplant seven years ago and now, as his hospital trips increase, so do the costs.
“Gas, hotels, parking and just food,” Cote said.
And things at home aren’t cheap either.
“We have house repairs that need to be done, we have a cellar that has mold which I can’t come back to unless that mold is remediated,” he said.
Anthony decided to create a GoFundMe page to help offset those costs. It’s a decision that he says took some convincing.
“We hate to ask for help, it’s not something we like to do,” said Cote. “We like to just dig our feet and we’ll figure it out, you know, but it’s just been piling up”
Anthony says his evaluation process will at least go until February, and there’s no telling when he’d actually be on a transplant list. For now, he waits and continues to fight.
“We are more than grateful for every donation, every time someone shares it and it really does mean a lot,” said Cote.
You can make a donation to Anthony and his family by visiting the Lungs for Tony GoFundMe page.