In Times of Need, Northeast Pennsylvania comes to the aid of its own. In our regular column, we provide a platform for area residents facing a variety of obstacles to create awareness and connect them with much-needed help.
Who: According to friends, Patrick Dougher has the type of shining personality that could even make being stuck in an elevator with him fun. The devout Dunmorean — husband to Lauren and dad to Cameron, 21, Patrick, 10, and Caroline, 8 — is a former church lector and well-known local DJ who has left everyone he’s ever met with great memories. He’s also a sports fanatic who loves the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Pirates, and served as a fantasy football league commissioner for more than 15 years. For nearly 40 years, however, Dougher has struggled with numerous complications from asthma, which has caused irreversible damage in his lungs. Throughout his diagnosis, Dougher has suffered decreased quality of life due to daily episodes of shortness of breath, frequent respiratory care that has included plenty of medications and treatments, and the need for continuous oxygen therapy. Now, Dougher hopes for a bilateral lung transplant to come soon as he sits on a national waiting list.
What: Donations can be made at GoFundMe.com, and supporters have organized Do It For Dougher, a benefit that will include food, draft beer and wine, plus live entertainment by Chris DiMattio as Frank Sanatra; Jim Bordo and Joe Cullen; and the Giants of Science. EJ the DJ will emcee, and organizers have promised the event will feature appearances from notable guests, including actress Martha Byrne, who acted on “As the World Turns” from 1985 to 1989 and from 1993 to 2008; she has won three Daytime Emmy Awards. Tickets are $20 and will be available at the door.
When: Saturday, Nov. 2, 5 to 10 p.m.
Where: Montage Mountain Lodge, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton
Why: Following surgery, Dougher will be hospitalized for a least a month, with his recovery expected to require an extended intensive care unit stay followed by the need to remain in Philadelphia for three months to stay close to his doctors at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Throughout this time, his wife will act as his caretaker. Additionally, Dougher will need to pay out of pocket for anti-rejection medication, which is not covered by insurance. Proceeds will help ease his financial burdens.
In his own words: “Not only does it mean the world to me, but it humbles me that so many people in this area reach out and lend their support when someone is ill.” — Patrick Dougher
Patrice Wilding is a 13-year employee of the Lifestyles Dept. at The Times-Tribune, where she worked her way up from a clerk to a web video producer to a full-time reporter, writer and copy editor. An Olyphant native, she graduated from Mid Valley Secondary Center and earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with concentration in media arts, political science and communications from Wesley College, Dover, Delaware. She lives in Clarks Summit with her husband, Justin, and their son, Johnny. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5369; @pwildingTT