Immigrant mother raising funds for son’s transplant
Rocio Camacho reaches into a drawer in her near-Southside apartment, pulls out the letter from Clarian Health and points to the critical sentence. “Once the patient and the potential donor have completed the evaluation and funds in the amount of $75,000 have been secured, the patient can be scheduled for transplant …”
Because Rocio Camacho’s 11-year-old son Luis is not a U.S. citizen, she must raise $75,000 before the boy’s kidney transplant can be scheduled.
The letter’s language is abstract, but the crisis is quite real. The patient is Camacho’s 11-year-old son Luis, whose failing kidneys compel him to undergo dialysis four times a day. The potential kidney donor is Camacho herself. She is also the administrator of Luis’ dialysis treatment and now has taken on the unlikely role of chief fund-raiser, trying to cobble together that $75,000 needed to get her son the transplant he needs. A Riley Hospital spokesperson confirmed that, because he is not a U.S. citizen, Luis’ transplant costs would not be covered by any insurance or benefit program. The amount for the transplant is daunting, especially for a woman who only recently emigrated from Mexico, speaks little English and was homeless just a few months ago, after Luis was turned away from a Colorado children’s hospital. But Camacho says she grows more determined every time she has to connect Luis to the dialysis machine, and she sees how drained the sixth-grader is after the procedure. As of last week, the total raised for Luis’ transplant is over $6,500, and for that Camacho thanks Holy Family Shelter, the Hispanic Center, WRTV-6, St. Patrick’s and many other churches and individuals who have already contributed at garage sales and raffles held in the Latino community. “God hasn’t abandoned us, and there are a lot of people who have helped us,” Camacho says. “The dialysis is giving us time to do what I need to do to fix the situation.”
How you can help Donations can be made at any Indianapolis Bank One branch to a fund dedicated to the cost of Luis Camacho’s kidney transplant. Or to donate goods for a weekly garage sale where proceeds go toward Luis Camacho’s transplant, call 636-7482 (Spanish language only) or 635-7830 (ask for Bill Bickel).