The Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA), an organization that serves both adult and child transplant patients is assisting a local girl with a fundraiser, "Mandy's Miracle," to raise money to help her with costs of a lung transplant.
Amanda "Mandy" Eisenhaur, 29, who has cystic fibrosis (CF) works part time as a teacher aide in the Shikellamy School District, but recently she's been unable to work, due to her battles with lung infections.
CF is the most common fatal genetic disease of children and young adults. The disease primarily impacts the lungs and digestive systems. It also can clog the digestive system and many with CF have to take pancreatic enzymes to ensure their bodies break down and absorb food.
Amanda “Mandy” Eisenhauer is shown with her sister, Hannah, 8. Eisenhauer has cystic fibrosis (CF) and is hoping to receive a life-saving lung transplant.
"I'd like to live long enough to see my 8-year-old sister, Hannah, graduate from high school," Eisenhauer said. "And even longer, if I can."
Eisenhauer lost her older brother, Todd, to CF last year and she also has a younger sister, Brittany, who has CF but is doing well at this point.
"I'm really anxious to get a lung transplant," said Eisenhauer. "I was only out of the hospital for a week after getting over the last lung infection, and now I'm back in with another infection. It seems like my lungs are wearing out, and it gets frustrating and depressing at times."
Eisenhauer had her lung transplant evaluation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) several months ago, and at the time she was "too healthy" to be placed on the list for a lung transplant. Due to her recent decline in health, she is now on the UPMC transplant list.
Although insurance will pay for most of the transplant costs, Eisenhauer was told that she would need about $40,000 to cover miscellaneous expenses like food, travel and lodging.
"We had a conference call training session with COTA last week and it was really helpful in getting our volunteers ready to go," Eisenhauer said.
Her parents, Todd and Tina Buckles, are excited that she is finally on the list for the transplant.
"I'm just hoping she gets her transplant and can live a more normal life without a lot of hospitalizations," Tina Buckles said.
Cathy Beeler, a long-time family friend, is the overall community coordinator for Mandy's Miracle, and Bob Derr from Pennsylvania Cystic Fibrosis Inc. (PACFI), is the Public Relations Coordinator. PACFI is an independent nonprofit organization that helps Pennsylvania families affected by CF and annually funds CF research. The webmaster for the COTA campaign website is Brittany Buckles, Eisenhauer's sister. Any businesses, persons or organizations that want to hold a fundraiser to benefit COTA in honor of Amanda Eisenhauer can contact Beeler at 570-809-1961.
People who want to donate to Mandy's Miracle can visit the COTA website at and donate on Amanda Eisenhauer's page, or make a check out to PACFI and send to PACFI, Mandy's Miracle, P.O. Box 29, Mifflinburg, PA 17844. PACFI will forward all funds for Mandy's Miracle to COTA.