Laurel Bjornberg was expecting a lot from life. After all, she's only 35 years old.
She has four children, aged 4 to 13. She's one year away from completing a bachelor's degree in fine arts. Future plans: completing a master's degree and being a grandmother.Her plans - and her life - are on hold, however. Bjornberg learned in May she has chronic active hepatitis. Without a liver transplant, Bjornberg will live less than one year.
"It's made me realize how delicate life is," Bjornberg said. "What bothers me most about my situation are the emotions my four children are going through. There are times when they cry, can't sleep or they have nightmares. We're being very open and listening and talking with our children . . . My children are scared."
In order to be placed on a waiting list for a new liver, Bjornberg must come up with $125,000. Her insurance carrier does not cover liver transplants. Another $125,000 will be needed following the transplant for follow-up visits, tests and medications.
That's not the kind of money the average family has sitting around in the bank. Bjornberg's friends are coming to her aid. Employees at The Coca-Cola Co. in Provo, where Laurel's husband, Steve, works, voted last week to give a $3,000 bonus to the Bjornberg family rather than split it among themselves.
Other friends put together a fund-raising committee. They've mounted a letter campaign soliciting donations and are planning other activities. Events in the works so far:
- A giant yard sale will be held at the Memorial Art Company, 190 N. Main in Springville, on June 22. All proceeds will be donated to the Bjornberg fund. The sale will feature clothes, furniture, toys, new quilts and crafts and refreshments. The sale begins at 8 a.m. For information or to donate items, contact Linda Anderson at 489-6440.
- Donations may be sent to: LDS Hospi-tal/Deseret Foundation, c/o Laurel Bjornberg Fund, Eighth Avenue and C St., Salt Lake City, UT 84143. For information about the fund, call 321-1775.