Aspen fundraiser set Sept. 24 for Melville granddaughter |

Aspen fundraiser set Sept. 24 for Melville granddaughter

Michael McLaughlin
The Aspen Times

A fundraiser is set for today through the Children’s Organ Transplant Organization to assist Anna Battista, 22, the daughter of Karen (Melville) Thacker and granddaughter of longtime Aspen residents Ralph and Marian Melville.

The fundraiser will take place on the fifth floor of the Mountain Chalet in Aspen at 5:30 p.m. There will be a silent auction, drinks, appetizers and music from Jeannie Walla and Her Trio.

More than 50 items were donated for the auction, including a half-day snowboarding session with former Olympic medalist Chris Klug, a one-hour scenic flight for as many as three people, a one-week stay at The Gant and a football jersey autographed by Peyton Manning.

“It’s so cool to see so many people that want to help out,” Battista said. “At this point, I just want to feel better and get back to college at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. I miss my friends.”

Battista was born with cystic fibrosis, a disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. She also was diagnosed with diabetes related to cystic fibrosis. In October, Battista had to have a double lung transplant. This past spring, she was diagnosed with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder, a type of lymphoma that occurs after a lung transplant.

“The chemotherapy is working,” Thacker said. “But she’s not out of the woods yet.”

The fundraiser is titled “Just Breathe, a Lemony Silent Auction,” with lemon drinks and appetizers at the event. The lemon theme comes from Battista’s nickname of “Anna the Lemon,” which was given to her by her sister and which Battista has happily accepted. Battista’s sister once likened her to a “lemon” automobile that needs to get fixed all the time.

The fundraising aspect is being handled through Children’s Organ Transplant Association. All of the proceeds raised from the fundraising will go to the association to assist families such Battista’s with transplant-related expenses.

There’s a suggested $25 donation to attend the auction. Any inquiries should go to Susan Melville Warren at 970-319-2118.

Anyone wishing to donate online can do so by visiting

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