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Yankee fan recovers with Red Sox kidney

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Despite differences when it comes to their favorite baseball teams, Sherry Powers (right) decided to donate a kidney to her friend Anita Crosson when Crosson's lone kidney's functionality dropped to only nine percent.  (PETER CIHELKA / THE FREE LANCE-STAR)

Despite differences when it comes to their favorite baseball teams, Sherry Powers (right) decided to donate a kidney to her friend Anita Crosson when Crosson’s lone kidney’s functionality dropped to only nine percent. (PETER CIHELKA / THE FREE LANCE-STAR)

The rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees had a bit of a changeup this March, but not on the pitching mound.

Die-hard Yankee fan and New York City native Anita Crosson of Stafford County received a kidney transplant from Red Sox fan Sherry Powers, also of Stafford, on March 5 at the Henrico Doctors’ Hospital in Richmond.

“I asked her, ‘How would you feel about having a Red Sox kidney put in you?’” Powers laughed.

Both the surgery and transplant were successful, and Powers and Crosson have been recovering spectacularly.

But now Crosson’s husband, John, will be needing a new heart.

“To have this happen to him now is a lot for me, and us,” Anita Crosson said. “But you know what? We’ve been married almost 34 years, and I’m not giving up now.”

On Tuesday, April 1, John had an ablation performed on his heart and a pump put in at the University of Virginia Medical Center. John is on the transplant list, but the pump is necessary to bridge him until it can be done.

Cardiac ablation uses a long, flexible tube called a catheter to correct heart rhythm problems.

“He’s doing well. They stopped the sedation Monday morning, which he’d been on since the surgery, and got the breathing tube out that afternoon,” his wife said. “He’s now fully conscious and alert, but he’s still in ICU with a minor case of pneumonia, but that’s normal.”

John will have to wait anywhere from a year to three years for the heart transplant depending on his blood type and that of potential donors.

Maybe John, like his wife a New York City native and diehard Yankees fan, will get his heart transplant from someone rooting for his team.

“In a matter of weeks, we have both had two major surgeries,” Anita said. “It’s been hard, but all the support and prayers have been phenomenal. It’s enough to bring tears to my eyes, and I’m not a crier.”

With insurance, a three-month supply of Anita’s anti-rejection medicines, two of the 17 she is currently taking, costs about $850.

And now with John’s surgery and need for a transplant, the bills will only multiply.

The Flying Squirrels minor league baseball team in Richmond will host a fundraiser for Anita Crosson’s cause at its game this Saturday evening.

Anita Crosson, friends, family and others plan to rally and caravan down to Richmond together.

“We’re still doing it and have sold a little shy of 100 tickets so far,” Anita said. “I started going to the Squirrels games last summer. We have a blast and are excited for the April 12 game.”

Despite huge amounts of fundraising and support from friends and the Fredericksburg community, the Crosson family has a long way to go with costs for anti-rejection medication and medical bills.

“We are staying positive and just taking it day by day,” Anita said.

Katelyn Leboff: 540/374-5417

kleboff@freelancestar.com

 

WANT TO HELP?

If interested in buying tickets or attending the game, contact Anita Crosson at 540/295-6957. The Richmond Flying Squirrels game is this evening, at 6:05 p.m. The tickets are $7 but $2.50 will go to Anita Crosson’s fund through the National Foundation for Transplants if the purchase is from the 100 tickets dedicated to her cause. Anita, friends, family and more are meeting at Wawa on State Route 2 to rally and caravan down to Richmond at 3 p.m. and leaving at 3:20 p.m.

The Wawa at 3402 Shannon Park Dr, Fredericksburg, VA 22408.

For more updates on Anita Crosson and her cause, follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/anitacrossontransplant.

You can also donate here: http://bit.ly/1gR7HgM.

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