Carnival-themed event to raise funds for kidney transplant

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Submitted Photo Tonda Hinton is awaiting a second kidney transplant. She received a new kidney in 2003, but after about four years it failed.

CLOVERDALE -- A carnival-themed fundraiser at the Cloverdale High School auxiliary gym will help raise funds for a local woman's kidney transplant.

Tonda Thacker-Hinton, of Cloverdale, is in need of a kidney transplant. In order to help raise the necessary funds, there will be a carnival-themed event hosted May 9 starting at 11 a.m.

Hinton's health issues first started at the age of 9, when she was taken to Riley Children's Hospital with unusually high blood sugar. She was then diagnosed with type-1 diabetes with a reading shockingly over 1,200. She spent much of her life working to maintain her health, but a car accident when she was 21 set back that progress. Doctors believed the accident caused her kidney functions to decline even faster.

A few years later, at age 28, Hinton learned her kidneys were failing. Despite her hard work to maintain kidney health, both failed within two years.

She was able to get a kidney and spleen transplant in 2003. But, now she is awaiting a kidney transplant once again. Hinton is currently undergoing dialysis three times a week.

"The kidney lasted about four and a half years, then stopped working. My pancreas is still going strong and has outlasted its expectancy by about two years. It could go at any time, but so far it's doing really good," Hinton said.

Hinton explained her health insurance will cover the cost of the actual transplant, which is upwards of $250,000, but there are other costs associated with the transplant and her overall health.

"I still take a lot of medicines now. Because my pancreas is still working, I'm taking immunosuppressants so my body doesn't fight itself," Hinton said, adding this makes her susceptible to other illnesses. This year alone, she has seen eight doctors to pinpoint what is causing painful muscle spasms all over her body.

Event co-chair Kristin Cox said the event will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will feature several games, a silent auction and raffles throughout the day.

The carnival-themed event will feature more than 20 games, including a duck pond, ring toss and more. Players can purchase a game card for $2 each with 10 punches on each card. Cox said in honor of raising money for the kidney transplant, the game cards will have little kidney shapes to be stamped at each booth

Participants need to purchase game cards to play the games and receive tickets if the game is won. When the participants are finished, they can use the tickets they won at the prize station. Prizes have various ticket values.

"Imperial Toys donated $500 worth of carnival-type toys. So, the toys will be one to 10 tickets for certain prizes, and so on," Cox explained.

Big Bounce Fun House has donated a bounce house to be used during the event as well. There will be face painting and balloon animals.

Several items have been donated for a silent auction, which will run through 3 p.m. Items will include tanning certificates, jewelry items, donations from Harley Davidson, Indianapolis Zoo, Holiday World, a 10 player party pack from Indy's Battleground Paintball, Indiana Ziplines, Indiana Caverns and several more items.

There will also be three raffles that will run until 3 p.m. There will be a 50/50 raffle and a television raffle, with tickets $2 for each or 10 tickets for $8. Conrad Indianapolis has donated a one night stay in the hotel, with raffle tickets available for $2 each or 10 tickets for $18.

Winners for the raffle and silent auction will be announced at 3:30 p.m. Participants must be present to win.

Food items will also be available for purchase, including snow cones, cotton candy, pulled pork, hot dogs, chips and soda.

Hinton will be at the event with information from the National Transplant Foundation about kidney transplants and will also be selling her handmade jewelry. There will also be T-shirts available to purchase to help raise money and awareness.

Cox noted this is a cash-only event.

Hinton said there are not enough words to express the amount of gratitude she has for everyone that has made an effort to help her in this nearly lifelong journey.

"I've lived here all of my life. It's my hometown. I've had so much support from everyone already. I just can't put it into words," Hinton said.

Those who would like to help but cannot make it to the event can make a donation online at and search NFT patients for Tonda Hinton.

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