College student seeks financial help for procedure
Kierra “Keke” Hill is a 22-year-old college student who needs the community’s help. At 8 years old, the Humble resident was diagnosed with metastatic osteosarcoma, a cancer that begins in the bones. Numerous chemotherapy treatments led to her eventually having congestive heart failure.
Over the years, her heart has had its challenges recovering and has now weakened to the point where she needs a transplant. Hill now has a left ventricle assistive device (LVAD) to help pump blood through her heart that she must take everywhere, but still needs this transplant as the LVAD can only do so much.
Hill said that this whole experience has given her a “new normal” to which she had to quickly adjust. Though she is dealing with a huge health crisis, Gregory Hill, her father, describes her as a “kind-hearted young lady who wants to someday pay it forward.” By the time Hill turned 18, she had begun to volunteer as a camp counselor for M.D. Anderson’s summer camp for pediatric cancer patients and has been volunteering every summer that she can.
“When she was in the ICU, all she was worried about was if she was going to make camp,” said her dad.
Between doctors, hospitals and camp, she is pursuing a degree at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The Hill family has faced many hardships along the way, including Hill losing her insurance coverage because, according to her family, Social Security said she was no longer sick. This situation forced the family to fight and appeal the ruling to no avail. During that time, Hill still had to visit doctors and receive treatments. Fortunately, a doctor at Memorial Hermann Heart and Vascular Institute knew of Hill’s financial situation and managed to get his colleagues to agree to treat her for free until she became covered by insurance again, which was just two months ago.
Now the Hill family is trying to raise enough money to cover bills already incurred and those they are facing in the future on this long road to health for Hill. They are doing so through a Children’s Organ Transplant Associa
tion website for her. She wants others to know that this campaign is not just for her; it will encourage awareness of other children and young adults who also need help getting organ transplants.
“I have had an incredible amount of love and support from family and friends,” said Hill.
She remains optimistic about the campaign. She also said the campaign allows those in need to “have a second chance at life and give so much support when it is needed.”
The Hill family needs the Lake Houston community’s help. They hope to raise $40,000 to cover the transplant costs that insurance doesn’t cover. To donate or read more about Hill’s inspiring story, visit www.cotaforkierrakeke.com.