Archive for Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More than $2,000 raised to help McLouth family

November 20, 2007

Talk about a bunch of tacos.

McLouth School District faculty and staff raised more than $2,000 during a benefit taco dinner Friday. The money will go to Heidi Karn-Barker, a 2001 MHS graduate who is awaiting a donor for a lung transplant.

Karn-Barker's father, George, an industrial arts teacher at MHS, attended Friday's event. He said that roughly two months ago his daughter looked into having the procedure, which her doctors at Children's Mercy in Kansas City, Mo., had recommended.

Karn said his daughter's lung function ability became "pretty low" in the past several weeks and she requires oxygen assistance "24-7."

Karn-Barker, who has cystic fibrosis, will undergo the surgery in St. Louis.

Hospital officials require that patients live in the St. Louis area while they wait for the transplant because once the hospital has donor lungs, the window of time in which to perform the transplant is limited. When the surgery is complete, hospital regulations require that the patient remain living in St. Louis for three months.

Friday's taco feed raised $2,180.35, MHS staff member AnnaMaria Rainey said. All food for the event was donated, so all money made through sale of food and donations will go directly to Karn-Barker for expenses related to her stay in St. Louis.

MHS family and consumer science instructor Sandy Walbridge said Sunday that more than 30 McLouth School District faculty members had donated a day of sick leave to Karn, which he can either use to take time off to be with his daughter. Or, he can turn in any unused time in June for payment.

The gesture by faculty was made possible through an agreement between the teachers and school board that the board approved at its November meeting.

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