Columbia County boy needs help raising money for double-lung transplant

Sawyer Mobley, 9, is waiting on a double-lung transplant. Friends and family are helping raise $50,000 for medical expenses and travel through a fund of the Children's Organ Transplant Association.

A 9-year-old Columbia County boy needs the community’s help as he fights for every breath.

Sawyer Mobley is waiting for a double-lung transplant at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He was diagnosed at 7 weeks of age with cystic fibrosis, a chronic lung disease that causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs and other areas of the body.

Angel Mobley said her son needs the transplant after he caught a common virus this summer that attacked his weakened immune system.

“Now his health has deteriorated to the point that he’s on oxygen 24/7, and he’s in a wheelchair because he doesn’t have the physical endurance,” Mobley said by telephone from St. Louis, where they moved six weeks ago to be near the hospital.

Friends and family are helping raise $50,000 for medical expenses and travel through a named fund of the Children’s Organ Transplant Association. The money is managed by the association and will help pay for what is not covered by insurance.

“After the transplant, every three months we have to come up here for appointments,” Mobley said. “It’s going to be for the course of his life.”

The largest fundraiser to date for the association’s fund in honor of Sawyer will be Saturday. A yard and craft sale and barbecue begins at 8 a.m. at Bel Air Elementary, where Sawyer attends school when his health allows.

“I’ve been astounded by the goodness of others and the people that have been willing to give of their time and energy,” Mobley said.

She said her son asks for prayers from the community more than anything else. At the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, they spend most of every day shuttling among doctors and therapists for tests and checkups.

“Most boys want to be baseball stars,” she said. “All he wants to do is be able to walk and run and play and breathe.”

HOW TO HELP

WHAT: Strength for Sawyer Yard and Craft Sale

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday; barbecue sales begin at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Bel Air Elementary School, 325 N. Belair Road

WHAT: Dinner, dance and silent auction

WHEN: 6:30 to 10 p.m. Oct. 19

WHERE: Evans Middle School, 4784 Hereford Farm Road

TICKETS: $10 in advance, with a limited number of tickets sold; e-mail scasella4sawyer@yahoo.com to purchase.

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