Thank you!

Dear Friends,                                                                                                                       
The last five years of my life have been a wild ride. I became very public with my Cystic Fibrosis; and had to turn this terrible disease into some kind of positive. That positive, strangely enough, was telling the world I need a lung transplant and to ask everyone for money to help pay for it. New lungs mean new life, new experiences and new goals.
My entire life has been surrounded with non-profit. About everyone in my life knows I work for the Omaha Community Playhouse, I have done projects with the Blue Barn Theatre, Nebraska Shakespeare, The Great Plains Theatre Conference; and that is only a partial list. I have volunteered for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; and then our COTA campaign came along. “Places, Please” became a reality. The non-profit world is not an easy one, especially in a struggling economy.
After nearly five years of “Places, Please”, we have hit the original financial goal set. You all know, COTA established the goal for $100K. This was unbelievable to COTA at first. When I approached them, they thought I was going to approach the topic with a“normal” goal of only $10K or maybe even $20K. When I asked about“$100K”, I could practically see their mouths drop through the phone. Despite this number being the average cost left to the patient after insurance, apparently no other patient had sought this number as their goal. And so the number was set: COTA set the thermometer at $100K!   :)
I knew we could do it. I cannot say enough words to thank all of you. I would like to single out a handful of names: The number one name, of course, is my husband, Craig. Without him, motivation and drive would have been a lot tougher. I would be remiss, if I didn’t mention my mom and step-dad, Sharon and Charlie Poole. Who doesn’t need their parents through tough times, right?! Bridget Robbins and Betsy Scott, my campaign coordinators; John Gibilisco, website coordinator; Pat Kies and Katie Cameron, publicity coordinators and my trustee who wishes to remain anonymous, but she at least deserves a mention! Added names who have gone above and beyond are Jane Matsui, Brett Nielsen, Karen Wheatley, Nick Masson, and Kimberly Much.
There are so many other names; I cannot list everyone, I am sorry; I wish I could! But thank you all so, so, so very much. As you know, I am on the list, waiting for “the call”. I and we have done our part; now, the situation sits with fate. (Oh, how I hate the loss of control!)
I know Betsy sent out the August newsletter, and it announced reaching the goal; and it mentions continuing to raise money. We do intend to keep the campaign going. There will still be many costs after the transplant and as we know, medical costs only continue to rise. Please, everyone, don’t give up on my situation. We won’t “nag” people on a regular basis, but every little bit helps. My website, will continue to be open. We will continue with some of the occasional events we know people look forward to (ie: Digz Day and Sing Your Lungs Out Cabaret). Karen Wheatley and I will continue to take old cell phones and printer cartridges.
In the meantime, I will continue to work on my health to keep qualified for the transplant. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have more friends and supporters than I could have ever dreamed of; and you all have touched me at a level that has been unbelievable and beyond heart-warming!
Whatever you do; pray or some other positive ju-ju; please add me to that list; hopefully those lungs will come soon! – with love and gratitude, Lara


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