Judy Fairbanks of Seneca Falls has watched helplessly as the health of her good friend Scott Warne has declined over the past four months
“I saw my friend going downhill fast. I thought: I can’t change his health condition but there must be something I can do for my friend,” she said.
That something is a Nov. 2 benefit Fairbanks is organizing from 3 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fayette fire house on Route 414.
And it’s a well-timed affair. After waiting months for a liver transplant, Warne, 52, of Romulus received one Oct. 11 at the Cleveland Clinic, where he is still recovering.
Fairbanks said she and Warne became fast friends after meeting each other at work, driving buses for the Seneca Falls school district. She is still there but Warne now works for the Geneva school district. He is also a limo driver and charter boat captain, she said.
But Warne has been out of work since late June, experiencing liver failure caused by complications from a long-ago surgery, Fairbanks said.
Luckily his call came for a transplant and although he has a long recovery ahead of him, he’s doing well. His mother, Judy, is with him in Cleveland.
“I just talked to him this morning,” Fairbanks said Thursday. “He’s now up sitting in a chair. He said a popsicle never tasted so good.”
According to Fairbanks, Warne’s prognosis is good. The transplant surgeon has indicated his new liver is functioning “wonderfully” and when he awoke from sedation his eyes were white instead of yellow and his complexion is improving.
“Things are good and this is all within a week,” she said.
Fairbanks said she and other organizers have been bowled over by the support they’ve received in organizing the benefit, which will feature a ziti meatball dinner, drinks, dessert, music, raffles and a silent auction. Tickets are $10 and available at the door or from Fairbanks in advance.
She said the fire house is donating the space and other donations include 50 pounds of hamburger from Schrader’s Meat Market, salads from Connie’s Diner, cases of soda from Rite Aid and Kinney Drugs, wine from Seneca Lake wineries and about 40 gift cards from multiple businesses in Seneca Falls, Waterloo and Geneva. The printed tickets were also donated.
Warne said a GoFundMe page has been started to help with medical expenses and she hopes between that and the benefit, $5,000 can be raised to help her friend, who does have medical insurance but will incur many non-covered costs.
“He still will owe thousands by the time this is done,” she said. “This will only make a dent in his expenses.”