A family effort to help a recent kidney transplant patient turned into a multi-school campaign as three York County school districts rallied to support Sean Murphy.
Murphy, a Dallastown junior, received his second kidney transplant Sept. 11.
Murphy's mother, Wendy, said the transplant process happened more quickly than expected. In May, doctors said it could be a year or two before Murphy would need a transplant.
But by August, Murphy was on dialysis and was called to have surgery within 10 days of going on the transplant list.
Murphy's mother said his second cousin, Nate Shaffer, was willing to donate a kidney, but was too young.
"They've grown up together," she said. "They're very close.
Instead, Shaffer suggested to his cross country coach a fundraiser to support the Murphy family, Randy Mumford.
Shaffer said the cross country team has had fundraisers in past years, and he thought it would be a good opportunity to give back to the community, but especially to his family.
"That just made it all the better," Shaffer said.
Shaffer said multiple schools got involved in selling fundraising T-shirts. Shaffer's team at Central York High School started the sale, and Dallastown team members got involved to support their classmate.
The shirts were also available for sale at West York, where Murphy's mother teaches.
Helping out: Shaffer's mother, Stacey, said the teams sold 252 shirts from Susquehanna Apparel.
The outdoor company's owner, Dan Rice, donated the printing fees for the shirts because his daughter, Janelle, also has a kidney condition.
The fundraiser widened its scope to have an impact on the Rice family, too. Shaffer said the sale raised about $2,400. A portion of that money - $500 - will be donated to Camp Kydnie in Janelle's honor. The Murphy family will receive the rest of the funds.
Murphy's mother, Wendy, said the process to get ready for her son's surgery didn't allow them to prepare ahead of time.
"It was overwhelming because it happened extremely fast for us," she said.
She said the money from the fundraiser will go toward the extra costs associated with her son's care: The family needs to offset traveling costs to Hershey for regular medical appointments and also needs to compensate for her taking off work to care for Murphy while he recovers.
Murphy has returned home, and the transplant went well, but he will not return to school for several weeks to protect his immune system.
Past surgery: Murphy also had a transplant surgery when he was 2 years old.
Murphy was born with bilateral dysplastic kidneys, a condition his mother said causes the kidneys to be covered with cysts. That can lead to renal failure, which happened in Murphy's case.
Shaffer's mother, Stacey, is continuing the fundraising efforts for the Murphy family at a site called Youcaring.com. Teachers and students who bought a T-shirt were able to wear it to school Tuesday.
- Reach Nikelle Snader at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about Sean Murphy or donate to his family at http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/supporting-sean/85992.