The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

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June 11, 2014

Churches rally for Enid man facing fatal disease

ENID, Okla. — A progressive organ concert at four Enid churches, scheduled for June 22, will raise funds for an Enid man in need of a liver transplant.

Andrew Allen learned in 2007, when an injury caused physicians to remove his spleen, that he had a life-threatening liver disease. He is now in end-stage liver failure.

“The spleen operation, I never really felt good after that,” Allen said.

He now takes 18 prescription medications and has had to stop working because of his deteriorating health. Fortunately, his wife, Elizabeth Allen, has been able to continue working.

End-stage liver disease is considered 100 percent fatal, Allen said.

“They can’t call it ‘end-stage’ unless the portion of liver that’s still working is just too small,” Allen said.

Although Allen does have insurance to pay a portion of the transplant costs, he will need a lifetime of follow-up care and daily doses of costly medication to fight rejection of the new liver. Those medications are as critical to his survival as the transplant itself, said Kay Horne, National Foundation for Transplants fundraising consultant.

According to Horne, the average liver transplant costs about $575,000. However, there are other costs that add up as well.

“I will have to stay in Oklahoma City for some time, and my insurance doesn’t cover those expenses,” Allen said. “It could be as long as three months — but it’s usually not.”

Allen and his wife have found an apartment that will cost $69 per night. Then there will be the expense of meals and other everyday needs during the time he recovers from the transplant and is required to remain close by the hospital.

“Someone has to be with me and awake all the time, in case I should have a hemorrhage or start a rejection,” Allen said.

Some relatives are expected to be able to pitch in with some of the care.

“I know this has been a difficult time for Andrew,” Horne said. “But I’m happy he has such a wonderful support system around him. At NFT, we’re happy to join with them to see that he raises the funds necessary to afford his medical treatment.”

A fund has been established in Allen’s name with NFT. Donations are tax-deductible, and 97 percent of each dollar given goes to Allen.

The June 22 progressive concert fundraiser for Allen will begin at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Enid, then go to St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church and First United Methodist Church.

Performances scheduled are:

• Andrew Long at First Presbyterian Church will play “St. Catherine” by David N. Johnson; “Trumpet Voluntary in C,” by Michael Helman; “The Peace May Be Exchanged …” by Dan Locklair; and “Fantasy on ‘Holy, Holy, Holy,’” by Piet Post.

• Lawana Newell at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church will play “Toccata in E minor” by Pachelbel and “Choral Prelude,” by Buxtehude.

• Carol Pixley at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church will play “Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr BWV664, from Eighteen Chorales,” and “Prelude and Fugue in C Major, BWV545,” both by Bach.

• Thom Whitaker at First United Methodist Church will play “Litanies,” by Jehan Alain, and “Rex: The King of Instruments,” by Daniel Burton, with Christianne Chase as narrator.

Admission is by a suggested $10 donation at the door. A reception will follow.

To make a donation for Allen, mail a check to: NFT Oklahoma Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Write “In honor of Andrew Allen” on the memo line.

Secure donations also can be made online at by clicking on “Find an NFT Patient” to locate a patient. Allen's donation link is HERE.

For information, contact Elizabeth Allen at (580) 478-8673.

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