Local mom needs money for transplant

Special Photo. Covington resident Tracey Ledford needs to raise at least $10,000 for a kidney transplant. The single mom will be holding a fundraising event on Saturday.

Special Photo. Covington resident Tracey Ledford needs to raise at least $10,000 for a kidney transplant. The single mom will be holding a fundraising event on Saturday.

COVINGTON -- Covington resident Tracey Ledford is a single mom with a 12-year-old son. When she could work, she maintained swimming pools and managed her own horse stable. A kidney transplant would put her back to doing those things, but first she has to jump a bigger hurdle than she ever asked of one of her horses.

Before Ledford will qualify for a kidney transplant she must raise at least $10,000 to be used for medications needed after the transplant.

"She's now in renal failure and on dialysis three times a week. If she raises the $10,000, then the Georgia Transplant Association will match that so she has $20,000 put aside to cover her anti-rejection meds," said Shirley Howard, a woman who has volunteered to assist Ledford in the fundraising task ahead of her.

Howard has been through the ordeal herself. Her son is the successful recipient of a double transplant. Several months ago Ledford was a stranger to her, but she saw her appeal at Stock Market Country Store in Conyers and offered to help.

"She has containers around different businesses with her picture and story asking for donations, and she has one at the Stock Market over on Ga. 20 where I buy all my horse feed," Howard said, adding she asked the owners of the store to have Ledford call her.

"When I had to do it (raise the funds) I sold everything -- my boat, travel trailer, freezers -- anything I could get any kind of money out of I sold so I could get my son on the transplant list," Howard recalled. "She called me and asked what I wanted and I told her I wanted to help her, drive her to dialysis and give her a hand. She's got that boy to raise and dialysis is hell."

The first fundraising event Ledford is having is this Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. -- a 67-class open horse show open to the public at the Walton County Agriculture Center in Monroe. The center is 3 miles south of Monroe at 1208 Criswell Road. Turn right off Ga. Highway 11 onto Criswell Road. The center is about .03 mile on the right.

Howard said there's something for all riders at the show.

"Kids with ponies all the way through to English riders with jumps," she said, adding that other events include barrel racing and lots of fun classes such as "ride for buck bareback" and speed classes which includes pole bending. "Even if you're not a show person you can still have a good time in some of those classes."

The fees are $10 per class or riders can register for the whole day for $60 and participate in as many classes as they desire. Registration will be accepted at the event. There will be prizes for the winners.

Sponsors for the event include the Stock Market Country Store and Comfort Heating and Air of Oxford.

Those unable to attend the show but who would like to support Ledford's effort can make a donation for her to the Georgia Transplant Foundation, 6600 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, 600 Embassy Row, Suite 250, Atlanta, GA 30328. It is necessary that the name "Tracey Ledford" be put in the memo section of the check. Also, a donation can be made online by going to www.gatransplant.org and choosing fundraising accounts, then individual fundraising pages and looking her up using her name.

Other events Ledford is planning include: April 23, a motorcycle ride in Blue Ridge; May 15, a motorcycle ride and band fest at Hank and Jerry's Tavern in Conyers. There should be 10 different local bands playing that day and several different vendors along with raffles and a morning motorcycle ride before the bands start playing; May 2, a poker run motorcycle ride out of 5 O'clock Somewhere in Covington.