"Give a Heart" reads the headline on posters being distributed throughout this community.
The poster promotes a dance to be held June 18 - part of a fund-raising drive being spearheaded by co-workers of a Cedar City man who needs a heart transplant operation.Nolan Anderson, 34, a lifetime resident of Cedar City, recently underwent heart bypass surgery for the second time and has been placed on the list for a heart transplant at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Doctors say Anderson is an excellent candidate for the transplant because of his general good health. Other than his heart, all his major organs are in very good condition.
However, his family must raise $100,000 before he can be considered for the transplant needed to save his life. His insurance carrier will not cover costs associated with the heart transplant operation.
Anderson has been employed by the Utah Department of Transportation for the past 15 years, and employees of the department's District 5 are spearheading a fund-raising effort to help raise the money so Anderson can have the operation when a donor heart is available. Anderson and his wife, Vicki, are the parents of three children aged 7 to 11.
Anderson had his first heart attack when he was 29 and underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery then. In May of this year, Anderson was suffering from acute energy loss, and tests showed additional blockage, which forced the second bypass surgery. He is recovering at his home and is making good progress, said his mother, Fontella Rhoades, Cedar City.
Rhoades said doctors are encouraged by Anderson's progress but want to do the heart transplant surgery as soon as possible. He is scheduled to meet with a heart transplant team at LDS Hospital June 20.
Anderson, who has a hereditary defect that prevents his body from eliminating cholesterol, lost his natural father and brother to heart disease. His father died of a heart attack when Anderson was only 4 months old. His brother died at 35 shortly after bypass surgery. Anderson's mother married George Rhoades after her first husband's death, and the couple has been together 32 years. The two voiced the appreciation of the entire family for the efforts being made on Nolan's behalf.
District 5 employees have organized a number of fund-raising events through which the community can help Anderson and his family. They include bake sales; an auction at the Cedar City Park on June 18; a raffle of an original oil painting by Jeff Nielson, a UDOT employee; a concert by the Vermillion Voices of Southern Utah on June 30; and a benefit dinner, dance and raffle sponsored by the Elks Lodge of Cedar City on June 25. Some of the proceeds from a family portrait program will also be donated to the Anderson family.
Karla Davis, an office technician at UDOT, said the group raised almost $500 at a bake sale last weekend. He said donations may be made to the Nolan Anderson Trust Fund at any branch of the Utah State Credit Union.
The Cedar City K mart store is raffling a VCR later this month and the Coleman Co. has donated a cooler, a tent and sleeping bags to be raffled off, with the proceeds going to the Anderson fund. Many others have also joined the effort almost daily. For information concerning the fund-raising effort call 586-4491. There is also a direct line from Salt Lake to Cedar City, 965-4682.