Owen Payton has spent almost one entire year of his six years on Earth on a transplant list, awaiting a new heart to replace the defective one he was born with.
The West Chicago-area boy has undergone several surgeries to help with his congenital heart defect, a complex single ventricle heart, but his family is praying and saving for at least one more -- a heart transplant.
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Owen will be the beneficiary of a bowling fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Bowling Green Sports Center, 243 Roosevelt Road in West Chicago, as his family aims to raise $60,000 for costs associated with the operation.
Thirty percent of ticket fees and money generated from raffles at the event will go to the Children's Organ Transplant Association, a nonprofit that helps communities raise funds for transplant-related expenses.
"Whatever money we raise, 100 percent of that is used for transplant-related expenses and Owen can access that account for his lifetime," his mother, Christina Payton said.
Tickets available at the door for $20 include three games of bowling, shoe rental and unlimited pizza and pop. Valentines gift baskets and other items will be raffled off as well.
Doctors told Owen's parents last February he needed a heart transplant, and he was on the list by March, his mother said. Family members started fundraising last fall with an event at Alley 64 in St. Charles, aiming to raise at least $1,000 from each event and bring in money from separate donations.
While Payton said the total cost of a heart transplant can rise to $1 million, The Children's Organ Transplant Association has set the family's goal at $60,000.
"COTA tries to guesstimate based on anything transplant-related that we would have to pay for -- prescriptions, co-pays for appointments, inpatient hospital stay costs," she said.
Heading into Sunday's fundraiser -- planned to coincide with national Congenital Heart Defect awareness week -- Payton said Owen's supporters are more than halfway to their goal with $32,700 raised.
"It's going to help us reach our goal, help us get closer," Payton said about the bowling event.