Lifestyle

Friday Harbor woman awaits lung transplant at University of Washington Medical Center

Nikki Fink ... awaiting a lung transplant at University of Washington Medical Center. - Contributed / Aaron D
Nikki Fink ... awaiting a lung transplant at University of Washington Medical Center.
— image credit: Contributed / Aaron D'Errico

Nikki Fink, 28, of Friday Harbor is in the intensive care unit at University of Washington Medical Center, awaiting a lung transplant.

Fink has cystic fibrosis. She is the daughter of Yvonne Bowman and stepdaughter of Gary Bowman of Friday Harbor; she has a five-year-old son, Xander.

Donations are being accepted to help defray her medical expenses. Rosalee Webster submitted this letter:

* * *

More than likely, you know Yvonne Bowman. She works at the post office, selling stamps and giving away smiles. She is one of the most optimistic people I have ever met. You are possibly aware of the serious accident her husband Gary had almost two years ago. In the midst of his ongoing recovery and permanent disability, she maintains her positive outlook, choosing to dwell on the progress not the prognosis.

You may not know that one of Yvonne’s daughters, Nikki, has cystic fibrosis. Nikki is 28 years old and she has a five-year-old son, Xander, who also has cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited, chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. It is progressive and terminal.

Nikki was just 18 months old when she was diagnosed. From that first day until now they have known that she would face diminishing lung capacity, chronic lung infections and ultimately, that CF would take her life. While none of us has a guarantee of tomorrow, their family has lived with the guarantee that the disease will progress. And it has.

Nikki is an amazing young woman. Like her mother, she has faced this disease fully aware of the prognosis. She has chosen to focus on the beauty of each new day, realizing it is a gift to be cherished.

Nikki has poured her heart, time and energy into raising Xander. They live in Friday Harbor with Gary’s mother, Marian Bowman. Nikki has worked part-time (when she could) to help pay the medical bills that have accumulated as her bouts with lung infections continued, resulting in hospital stays. While Nikki does have insurance, it covers only a portion of the cost of the doctors, hospitalizations and medicines.

In recent weeks, her condition has dramatically deteriorated. She has been in the hospital for almost three weeks. She was on the regional lung transplant list but, due to various conditions, has been removed. The family remains hopeful that she will recover enough to be placed back on the list.

There is nothing we can do to give Nikki, Xander and their family more time together. We can, however, give them some relief from the worry of the bills that have and will continue to accumulate.

There are two ways you can donate. First, there is an account set up at Islanders Bank for Nikki. Second, if you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, you can send your contribution to the following:

New Horizons Foundation
4570 Hilton Parkway
Suite 203
Colorado Springs, CO 80907

Note on the memo line: Nikki Fink Medical Fund

No donation is too small. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Rosalie and Scott Webster
Friday Harbor

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