Fundraiser planned for Bower Hill firefighter who needs transplants

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Bryan Pritchard of Scott is hoping that his third attempt to get a kidney and pancreas double transplant will be the charm.

And so are his friends at the Bower Hill Volunteer Fire Department, where he has been a firefighter for eight years. In fact, his fellow firefighters are so supportive of the 40-year-old's need that they are holding a fundraising spaghetti dinner, auction and raffle for his benefit from noon-6 p.m. Sunday at the fire station on Vanadium Road.

"He is our brother," Deputy Chief Jason Dolence said. "We are family down here at Station 255, and family takes care of family."

Because of his long-term type 2 diabetes, which requires nightly peritoneal dialysis, Mr. Pritchard has not been able to fight fires or work for the last three years. But he's at the station doing other chores, such as washing engines, answering phones and attending meetings.

Twice last winter he thought donor organs had been found, only to learn that neither was suitable. The Kidney Foundation pays for his health insurance, and he has Medicare, too.

The fundraiser will be the fourth conducted by the Bower Hill firefighters. Two others benefited Mr. Pritchard and the third raised money for a bone marrow transplant for fireman and Chartiers Valley teacher George Fichter.

Lt. Patrick Walther, one of the event organizers, said, "Our hope is the community will support Bryan the way he has supported them."

Mr. Pritchard is expected to attend the benefit dinner.

The menu includes a spaghetti and meatball dinner, bread and butter, tossed salad, dessert and beverage. Cost is $8 for adults 12 and older and $4 for children ages 3-11. Advance discounted tickets may be obtained by calling 412-221-3497. Takeout orders may be made as early as 11 a.m. on the day of the event.


Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer:


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