Skating benefit for local family

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 Messenger photo by Dedra Cordle
 Skate America in Grove City will hold a benefit for Andy Furr and his family. Pictured here (left to right) Joshua, Rachel, Mary, Andy and Christopher Furr relax in their living room. In 2006, Andy was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver.

When life hands you hardships, you can normally count on your friends and family to be there to lift you back up, and sometimes you can get the community involved.

That is exactly what Laura Frazier has done for her friend Mary Furr and her family. In cooperation with Skate America, Frazier set up a benefit from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 1 to help reduce the burden of medical bills.

"I thought it would be a nice community event to try to make things easier," Frazier said. "They are a good family and would do anything for you."

In July of 2006, Mary’s husband Andy started showing signs of liver disease, and two months later he was diagnosed was cirrhosis of the liver.

Cirrhosis is a slowly progressing disease in which healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue. That scar tissue will block the flow of blood through the liver, and it slows the processing of nutrients, hormones, drugs and naturally produced toxins, making the liver incapable of functioning properly.

"It’s idiopathic in nature, meaning they don’t know the cause of it," said Andy Furr.

"There are several ways to contract it. You can develop it from Hepatitis or alcohol, but all those have been ruled out."

With Andy currently on extended leave from PetroCom (still receiving his paychecks until October is up) and filing for disability, the Furr family has to depend on Mary’s job with South-Western City Schools. She is currently a kindergarten aide at Monterey Elementary.

"Andy has been in and out of the hospital a lot lately, so I’ve used up all of my sick time," she said.

While Andy is not on the transplant list as of yet, she expects to miss more when he does have his transplant.

"I’ll have to move to Cincinnati for six weeks while he recuperates." she said. "He’ll spend two weeks in the hospital after the surgery and four weeks in a facility close to the hospital so he can have outpatient care."

Despite all the difficulties that may lie ahead, the Furr family maintains a positive disposition.

"Andy has so many people praying throughout the churches, in Plain City (where she is from), he’s been on so many prayer lists," Mary said. "We’re counting on God to pull us through all of this."

If you would like to help, you can go to Skate America at 4357 Broadway in Grove City. The admission for Nov. 1 is $5 with the proceeds going to the Furr family.

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