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Vidant Health Foundation receives $10,000 grant from The Willie Stargell Foundation to benefit transplant patients

October 23, 2015 by Beth Anne Atkins

GREENVILLE — The Vidant Health Foundation has received a $10,000 grant from The Willie Stargell Foundation for direct assistance to the people of southeast North Carolina who travel to Greenville for transplant services. 

Patients who are awaiting kidney transplants or who are recovering often find themselves unable to afford the preliminary dental and obstetrics/gynecological care required prior to being placed on the waiting list. Patients in both categories also often struggle with costs such as medications, lodging, transportation, and choosing between paying a light bill and affording their treatment.

“This donation is a direct reflection of the missions of our two organizations,” said Dana Casson, chief philanthropy officer for Vidant Health. “The Vidant Health Foundation, in partnership with the Willie Stargell Foundation, wants to help as many eastern North Carolina transplant candidates and recipients as possible as they navigate the road from waitlist to post-surgery.” 

Willie “Pops” Stargell was known for his “monstrous home runs.” He hit 475 career home runs during his 21 year baseball career with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1962-1982). A left-handed hitter, Stargell helped the Pirates capture two World Series titles and his father figure status earned him the nickname “Pops”. He awarded team members gold stars for their hats for a good play or a good game.

He fought a long fight with kidney disease, passing away on April 9, 2001. His widow, Margaret Weller-Stargell started the Willie Stargell Foundation with a signature annual celebrity golf event. In 12 years, the event has raised nearly $1 million to support kidney disease research and treatment. Grants include the most recent $10,000 to Vidant Health Foundation, and grants to National Kidney Foundation, American Kidney Fund and other health care organizations. 
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