APPLE VALLEY – The Mayor of the City of Hesperia, Paul Russ is as prepared as can be to temporarily relocate in order to receive a dual kidney and liver transplant. Leaving next week, Russ did not look forward to the costs associated with his life-saving surgery needed due to a cancerous liver and kidneys that are failing thirty years after his first transplant.
Leaving home is never easy, with Russ and his wife preparing to set off to Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. With a goal of $40,000 in mind, the Paul Russ Medical Trust began with a fundraiser hoping to offset both uncovered medical costs and living expenses for the possibly extended stay during recovery.
The modest goal seemed like a somewhat challenging goal for the single event, but not impossible and now even more possible with a single $30,000 contribution from Optimal Growers Incorporation (OGI). OGI with the request for assistance made by Adelanto Mayor Richard Kerr, not only made the pledge, but also a pledge to conduct a fundraiser once per month. “For this one evening, donations received totaled $39,900 with more having been pledged,” said Russ. “We’ll exceed our goal and I think that’s unbelievable…I am blessed,” he added.
The OGI CEO, Gus said that they will help Mayor Russ in his time of need and will continue to raise funds for his trust as long as needed. “We’ll do what we can on our side and we want you (Russ) to know you have our support,” said Gus. The two-hour fundraising event was held at the Wine Seller in the Town of Apple Valley from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 2, 2017. Juan and Jannai Archuleta arranged the fundraiser and also have set up a Go Fund Me account to raise funds to help pay for Russ’ travel and living expenses during the next few months.
Adelanto Mayor Rich Kerr attended, as well as Adelanto Councilman John “Bug” Woodard who said, that when he and fellow Council members were elected in 2014, Paul Russ was the first person to reached out to the new council to offer advice at the time when no one else did.”We want to do what we can so that he can get back to what he does best, and that is helping people,” said Woodard.
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- Paul Russ Medical Trust Fundraiser: City of Adelanto