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Sandy’s Walk brings her closer to transplant

POSTED: October 19, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Sandy Olson with her children Christian, Angel, Sabrina and Kayla. Olson, 39, has been fighting Congestive Heart Failure for more than 9 years and is in dire need of a heart transplant. "They only gave her 4 years when she was diagnosed. Her kids have kept her going," said Olson's sister Suzy Pittman, who has been organizing efforts to raise funds for her sister's life-saving surgery.

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Family and friends of Sandy Olson, a local single-mother of four in desperate need of a heart transplant, hosted a walk Oct. 4 at War Hill Park to raise funds for Olson’s medical expenses.



Almost 50 people participated in the walk and $500 was collected on Olson’s behalf. The funds raised by the walk brought the total amount collected to $7,500. The goal is to raise $10,000, since the Georgia Transplant Foundation has agreed to match dollar for dollar up to $10,000.



“Technically, we have raised enough money for Sandy to get her heart transplant. Now it’s about raising money for the first year of post-care costs,” explained Suzy Pittman, Olson’s sister, who along with the support of the Georgia Transplant Foundation, is organizing fundraising efforts to provide her sister with a life-saving heart transplant.



According to Pittman, the first year of post-care treatment alone will cost almost $24,000.



Olson was diagnosed with Peripardum Cardiomyopathy during her last pregnancy nearly 10 years ago.



Originally, doctors only gave her 4 years to live.



“Her kids have kept her going,” said Pittman. “She is committed to enjoying her children and continuing to be there for them.”



Olson’s heart condition has reached the point where a heart transplant is the only way to save her life.



Currently, Olson is living in Rome, Ga. to be closer to her treatment facility. 



“She has been disabled for 9 years. Now, even walking to the mailbox is not an option anymore,” said Pittman. “At this point, she needs to have a heart transplant within the next year.”



Olson’s two younger children, Sabrina Olson, 12, and Christian Olson, 9, live with her in Rome.



Her two older children, Angel Hogue, 19, and Kayla Hogue, 17, still live in Dawsonville.



“She’s done everything for us that she could, considering her condition, and given us so much support growing up,” said Angel, who began attending North Georgia College this fall. “We just want her to get better.”



Those wishing to help save a life can make donations by sending a check or money order to the Sandy Olson Transplant Fund, 250 Painter Road, Rome, GA 30165.



Donations can also be made by visiting,



For more information, contact Suzy Pittman at (706) 237-6424 or Angela Hall at (770) 561-5428.


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