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Thumb Family Raising Money For Face Transplant

Easter Vigil 2020 at The Cathedral of Mary the Assumption, Saginaw (source: Catholic Diocese of Saginaw)

A Thumb area family is raising funds for a face transplant for their son. The family of Derek Pfaff from Our Lady of Lake Huron Parish in Harbor Beach shared Derek’s story in a video across the Diocese of Saginaw for the first time Sunday. His Mother Lisa Pfaff shared that in the early morning hours of March 5th, 2014, Ash Wednesday, her son Derek attempted to end his life. Since then, he has fought to live every day…through 58 facial surgeries in seven years.

The next step in Derek’s journey is a face transplant at Cleveland Clinic, where he has already been approved to be their fourth face transplant recipient.  He has successfully undergone a series of rigorous psychological screenings and has an incredible network of support in his family and community.  But the cost of the surgery far exceeds the amount of money that can be raised in the small community along Lake Huron.  The surgery is considered experimental and his family’s insurance will not cover any of the costs. A gofundme page has been created and they are praying for support from those who hear Derek’s Story. You can view the video on the Diocesan website…Saginaw.org.

Derek hopes his story will give strength to others to talk about the struggles they are facing before they do harm to themselves. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, have suicidal thoughts, or know someone who needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Line 800-273-8255. To connect with local resources available across the 11 counties of the Diocese of Saginaw visit their website Saginaw.org.

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