Our Story

Emily Sachs Heiner was born in Baltimore and was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was 2 years old.  She and her mother moved to Ocean City, Maryland, when she was 10 and have called it home ever since.  Her husband and best friend is Scott Heiner.  Some other things about her, she’s a Christian and truly believes that through Christ’s help anything is possible.  Emily is also a Disney fanatic.  She’s been to Disney World quite a few times and finally made it to Disneyland last fall.  For those who don’t know, cystic fibrosis is a rare genetic disorder that damages mostly the lungs but also pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestines.  There is no known cure but there have been many medical advances.  Growing up Emily played sports and loved to dance and sing in theatre and church.  Her CF wasn’t much of an issue growing up.  In October 2016, Emily was placed in hospice.  She was told that she only had 6 months to 2 years left to live.  Emily was only 28 years old.  Fortunately, after 8 months, her health had improved and she was taken off of hospice.  Plus, with new medical advances and medications, she was able to start living her life again.  Emily was able to stop being on oxygen, working out with a trainer, and start a new job.  Working again gave her more freedom again and she loved her job.  Emily was working on becoming a manager at TJ Maxx.  In March 2022, her right lung collapsed.  She had a procedure done to prevent it from happening again, but it only held up for 6 months.  At that point, Emily was told she would need a double lung transplant.  She was expedited through the process and is now on the transplant list.  Transplant surgery and recovery is a daunting and lengthy process.  It is also very costly.  Even though Emily has insurance, it still costs a lot out of pocket.  Because of her age, she doesn’t qualify for supplement insurance.  She has partnered with COTA for assistance with transplant-related expenses. She is asking for any help that you can give by donating to COTA in her honor.

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) helps children who need a life-saving transplant by providing fundraising assistance and family support. COTA also works with individuals of any age with a single-gene disorder such as Polycystic Kidney Disease, Cystic Fibrosis or Sickle Cell Disease. COTA is the nation’s only fundraising organization solely dedicated to raising life-saving dollars in honor of transplant-needy families. 100% of each contribution made to COTA in honor of our patients helps meet transplant-related expenses. COTA’s services are free of charge and gifts to COTA are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

2 thoughts on “Our Story

  1. Emily is an amazing woman! For everything she has been through and will be going through, she is the most upbeat, positive and amazing young woman that I have met. As I have watched her over the years, nothing stands in the way of what she puts her mind to. Go Emily!!!!! we love you. Please donate and keep watching Emily’s story.

  2. Go Aunt Emily! You can do it!
    Sending Love,

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