A Rochester mother is depending on the community to help her get through the fight of her life.
Shantel Jones, 37, was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and was given two months to live.
Help, hope, live.
"You have to have hope, you have to pray, because that's all their is," said Jones.
Since being diagnosed with end stage liver disease in August, these have become the three words she lives by.
"This is like the second week since February that I have not had to be in the hospital. Usually I'm only out a couple of days," said Jones.
Jones says her diagnosis was unexpected and the mother of three was given only months to live.
"She's only 37, three children the youngest being five. She needs to be here for her children. That's my goal to make sure she'll be around," said Rita Jones Burnes, Jones' mother.
Burnes and several members of their church started a fundraising committee for Jones.
Their goal: to help raise enough money to pay for the costs that come with getting a liver transplant.
"Not too long ago she was vibrant, on fire and this certain illness has caused her to be in a place where she needs help and as a community I think we need to help each other," said Patrick McNair, Cross of Christ Deliverance Temple Church Pastor.
Jones says the costs of the procedure plus after care is about $600,000.
After insurance, she'll have to pay at least 20-percent of that.
"We don't realize the impact it has, especially financial, it's very expensive," said Burnes.
Saturday morning fundraising efforts kicked off with a breakfast with Santa at Jones's church, the Cross of Christ Deliverance Temple. It is one of a series of events the committee is hoping will help.
"We are hoping that people will come in donate, give what they can and help Shantel get what she needs," said Lynn Stewart, Fundraising Committee Member.
Jones also hopes help with come from the community through the website Help Hope Live . The site has a fundraising campaign setup just to help her pay for uninsured medical expenses.
"Even if you can't attend, donate. A little adds to a lot," said Burnes.
Jones and her family hope her story will spread awareness of the importance of being an organ donor.
"As one of the sayings goes, 'don't take your organs to heaven, heaven knows we need them here,' said Burnes.
Jones says a transplant is her only lifeline and she's not giving up until she gets it.
"I have good doctors to and I've been with my one doctor for many, many, many years and they all say they are praying for me, I'm staying here and I'll be here for a while," said Jones.
A Cultural Arts Festival fundraiser is expected to be held at Dazzle Theatre Janurary 26th. A gospel concert is also expect to be held February 24th at the Water Street Musical Hall.
For more information about donating click the link below.
Help Hope Live