Cocktails to host benefit for Plattsburgh woman next Sunday

PLATTSBURGH - It was more than one year ago when Brenda Fountain was diagnosed with desquamative interstitial pneumonia, a very rare lung disease.

The 35-year-old Plattsburgh native and her fianc , Fred Jeffries, have had a difficult time dealing with her condition, which is considered to be fatal, said Jeffries.

"Not much is known about the disease," said Jeffries. "We really only know what we've read on-line, but every day there is something new to read about."

What Jeffries and Fountain do know, he said, is there is "very little treatment" for the condition. Fountain currently sees a lung specialist in Plattsburgh on a regular basis and travels to Boston, Mass., every few months to see a specialist there, Jeffries added.

Since her diagnosis, Fountain has had to utilize an oxygen tank to assist in her breathing, and she has been unable to work, said Jeffries.

"She can't go without [the oxygen tank]," he said. "The worst part is she knows that she's eventually going to pass on but it could be any time."

The thought of losing Fountain - his fianc e and friend - is something Jeffries said he hopes will never happen, despite what is known about the disease.

"I try not to think about it. I'm hoping they come out with something to help her," said Jeffries. "I want to be with her the rest of my life."

Jeffries is channeling his energy into planning a fundraiser for Fountain next Sunday, July 19. The majority of her medical expenses are covered by insurance, he said, but associated costs such as travel and lodging when traveling to Boston are not.

The benefit will be held at Cocktails, 42 River St., Morrisonville, beginning at 12 p.m. The event will consist of a michigan and fries dinner, raffles and a 50/50 drawing. Entertainment will be provided by bands Tap Dat and Shameless Strangers.

Those interested in making a donation toward the event may contact Jeffries at 337-1918 or Lorrie Passino Fetchick at 834-9703.

Cards wishing Fountain well or donations may be mailed in care of her to 54 South Platt St., Plattsburgh N.Y. 12901.

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