BLACKFOOTâ€”A family who has given much to the community is now in need themselves as father/husband, Heath Young, has been hit with a lung disease and will need a lung transplant.
Young, a native of Blackfoot, grew up working on a dairy farm. He loved farming and has made a living through the years (for his wife Wendi and their five children) working on the family farm.
According to close family friend Tiffany Bartausky, in 2006 Young "began struggling with a persistent cough that wouldn't go away."
"For three years he sought help for the cough from various doctors, but to no avail," Bartausky said. "Then, in 2009, Heath was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis - better known as 'black lung disease.' "
Bartausky said that it is unknown exactly why Young (who is just in his thirties) got this disease, but it is believed that a contributing factor is the way that his lungs reacted to the dust, chemicals and dander from farming.
Young's condition has progressed and last year he was referred to the University of Utah Transplant Center for an evaluation.
"The past year he has been seen several times by a pulmonologist at the University of Utah and it's been determined that he is a good candidate for a lung transplant and he has been placed on a waiting list." Bartausky said. "Right now, his breathing is only at the capacity of about half of one lung."
Sadly,Young's love of farming will have to be put on hold indefinitely as he will have to move to Utah next week where he will await a transplant.
Due to his health issues Young was forced to sell the family farm and has not been working.
Bartausky has organized a benefit dinner to help the family with the piling medical bills.
A 'baked potato bar' will be held Saturday (Oct. 5) 6:30 p.m. at Mountain View Middle School in Blackfoot. The cost is $5 per person or $20 per family. All proceeds will go to assist the Young family.
An account has been set up in [Heath] Young's name at Blackfoot's Bank of Commerce (624 Jensen Grove Dr.) where donations are being accepted.
"This wonderful family is really in need of some financial help," Bartausky said. "Please come support this family that has given so much."
For more information or to make a financial donation contact Bartausky at: 208-680-4836