Spaghetti dinner benefits Youngstown woman in need of transplants

Fanni Jackson is waiting for a phone call from her doctor telling her a match has been found for pancreas and kidney donations

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Waiting for a phone call to hear if you have a transplant donation match can be long and tiring, and even harder when you also have to wait for medical bills to kick in.

To help her balance future medical bills for her need of two transplants, Fanni Jackson’s family and the Youngstown community came together for a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Saturday.

Fanni Jackson is waiting for a phone call from her doctor telling her a match has been found for pancreas and kidney donations.

“I’m just waiting for a phone call, yeah, and then I have to go. I think I’m going to pack my bag tonight and just have faith,” she said.

So far, Fanni Jackson has been on the waiting list for nine months.

“I’ve been a diabetic for over 20 years, gastroparesis, high blood pressure, all of that,” she said.

The process of waiting for a donation isn’t new to Fanni Jackson though, her daughter needed a new liver at just 15 months old.

“She’s 12 years old now, she’s doing well. So we’re just praying now that I’ll have a speedy recovery,” Fanni Jackson said.

Once she receives word that someone is a match, that’s when the medical bills and travel expenses to and from the Cleveland Clinic will start piling up.

Family drove in from across the country and many people showed up to the fundraiser. They said it was the least they could do for how much Fanni Jackson has touched their lives.

“She doesn’t have a lot but she knows if someone needs something she’s always digging in her purse to be a help,” said Fanni Jackson’s sister, Pat Jackson.

Fanni Jackson said the overwhelming amount of support has encouraged her to push through and remain hopeful.

“It’s not the best of a situation to be in this predicament to need a transplant, but it’s beautiful for me to come here long distance after knowing her all of these years and see this room full of people that I can feel the love and support in the room,” said life-long friend Charmise Desire.

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