2017-05-18 / Front Page

‘Heartbeat on the Lake’ helps heart transplant recipient

A fundraiser, “Heartbeat on the Lake,” is planned for May 20 to ben­efit Jennifer DenBoer, who recently received a heart transplant May 3.

The 28-year-old is the daughter of Dave DenBoer and Jeannine and Dave Shreve, all of Houghton Lake, and a graduate of Houghton Lake High School. She lives in Grand Rapids.

“We appreciate everyone’s support, thoughts and prayers,” Dave DenBoer said.

His daughter received a call May 2 that a heart was available and she went into surgery the next day at Spectrum Health’s Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center, Grand Rapids. Following sur-

-gery, which lasted approximately 10 hours, he said he was able to see her, but she was sedated.

She is still in the ICU and “waiting for everything to function again,” he said, adding that full recovery will take weeks.

He said she has family support at the hospital and he plans to attend the fundraiser Saturday.

Heartbeat on the Lake will take place at Houghton Lake Wesleyan Church, 5599 West Houghton Lake Dr. (M-55), Houghton Lake, beginning at 8 a.m.

It will feature motorcycles, a poker run, bake sale, meals and a car show. The Car Show and Shine will award a “Best of Show” trophy and will be held rain or shine from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Car vendors are welcome to attend.

Dave DenBoer said car registration will take place at 8 a.m. and motorcycle registration will take place at 9 a.m. Car or motorcycle registration is $15. Meals will be available with a suggested donation of $5 to $10.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be available and a bounce house for kids, bake sale, silent auction and poker run are planned. Information about organ donation and heart transplants will also be available at the event.

DenBoer had been fighting for her life since 2013 when she went into full cardiac arrest and spent 12 days in the ICU. She eventually left the hospital with a pacemaker/defibrillator and several medications to treat her familial cardiomyopathy. Her doctors said a heart transplant was critical to her survival.

She looks forward to the day when she can walk down the aisle to marry her fiancé, Tony. Currently, though, she needs help.

The average heart transplant costs more than $1 million. Even with insurance, which will cover the cost of the transplant, she still faces significant expenses related to the surgery. For the rest of her life, she will need follow-up care and anti-rejection medications, which are critical to her survival.

For information, call (800) 489-3863 or visit www.transplants.org. For information about DenBoer visit give.transplants.org/goto/jenniferdenboer. Dave DenBoer may be reached at (989) 429- 0822.

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