By Dean Olsen
Posted May. 9, 2014 @ 9:30 pm
Fundraising is underway for the family of a 1-year-old boy who recently underwent a liver transplant to improve his ability to live with a rare, genetic disease.
A goal of $50,000 has been set for the family of Aris Pettis, who was born on April 23, 2013, and received a new liver April 11 at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Aris’ mother, Jessica Pettis, said the transplant already has begun to improve his quality of life after he was diagnosed with propionic acidemia. People with this disorder are unable to process certain parts of proteins and fats properly.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the condition leads to an abnormal buildup of certain acids, which can be toxic and cause serious health problems.
Jessica Pettis, 25, a single mother who teaches first-grade students at Laketown Elementary School, said Illinois’ Medicaid program is covering most of the costs associated with the transplant — estimated to total about $500,000.
The $50,000 will assist the Pettis family with food, lodging and lost wages related to the transplant, she said. The family also includes Jessica Pettis’ daughter, Tressa, 5, a kindergartner at Fairview Elementary School.
Jessica, a 2007 Lanphier High School graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree from Benedictine University, said she took a leave of absence from her job shortly before the transplant and hopes to return to work in the fall.
More information about Aris is available at www.cotaforarisp.com. Tax-deductible contributions can be made through the website.
Checks or money orders payable to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, with “In Honor of Aris P” written in the memo line of the check, can be mailed to COTA at 2501 W. COTA Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403.