Benefit dinner planned for former Scottdale VFD chief
Jerry Younkin of Scottdale received a lifesaving lung transplant last year, and the costs are still overwhelming.
In an effort to help the former Scottdale Volunteer Fire Department chief and his family with ongoing medical expenses, a spaghetti dinner fundraiser will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Scottdale Firemen's Club, 405 Porter Ave.
Younkin was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in December 2009. After nearly a year of testing at the Cleveland Clinic, he was approved for a lung transplant, and on Oct. 21, 2010, was placed on the national transplant list.
His daughter, Melissa Danser, said Younkin received a call almost two weeks later that there was a lung available for him. After traveling to the Cleveland Clinic and getting prepped for the surgery, the family was told the lung was not viable.
Several days later, the family again got a call that a lung was available. After going through the process again, they were informed this lung also was not up to transplant standards.
A few months later, the family got a third call. It was on Friday, Jan. 13, 2012. The family was told a lung was available and ready for transplant. Because of a bad snowstorm, however, the Cleveland Clinic sent a medical jet to Latrobe Airport to pick up Younkin and his wife, according to their daughter.
On Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, Younkin was wheeled into surgery at 6 a.m.
By 11 a.m., the family received the news that the transplant went extremely well.
Danser said it has been more than 15 months since the transplant and her father is doing great.
“He has had a few incidents of slight rejection, but Cleveland Clinic has treated that, and he is in the clear,” she said.
Younkin visits the clinic every few months for a checkup, and they are excited about how well he is doing, according to Danser.
Unfortunately, Younkin is unable to work, and the financial burden has been significant.
“With numerous trips to Cleveland Clinic for follow-up appointments and procedures, daily rejection medications and health insurance premiums, the cost is overwhelming,” Danser said. “It seems when things are already tight enough, something else happens, like the hot water tank breaks.
“They are doing the best they can since my mother is the only one working, but it has been hard for them going from two incomes to only one,” she added.
“We had a great turnout at the last fundraiser, with an enormous amount of support from our friends, family and local community,” Danser said. “We hope this one is just as successful.”
Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kin of 2013 DUI crash victim in Hempfield lose young family in fire
- DNA evidence in alleged June 2013 rape leads to Latrobe man’s arrest
- Hempfield killer Stahl ordered to pay for slain wife’s funeral
- Mt. Pleasant residents voice support for Zilli as borough police chief
- Westmoreland prison online visit program delayed again
- East Huntingdon man, 91, finds 2nd career as a woodworker
- North Huntingdon church shaken by youth pastor’s child porn rap
- Injuries reported in accident in Mt. Pleasant Township
- Hempfield zoning board OKs variances for gas station, store
- Westmoreland group gets pet oxygen masks for area fire departments
- Seat in 32nd District deemed crucial for Pennsylvania Senate control