When Poland Giant Eagle manager Chuck Kaden was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis, he quickly felt the power of friendship. Employees, family and the community are coming together to help cover the costs involved in a double lung transplant.
''It started with emphysema and developed to where the blood couldn't get enough oxygen,'' said Patricia Zitello, who is helping put together a fundraiser for Kaden.
Zitello said Kaden is well loved by employees and community members. A group of them came together and organized ''A Second Breath For Chuck Kaden'' spaghetti dinner to help offset the travel expenses Kaden will have when he gets his transplant. The benefit will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. May 4, at the Poland Presbyterian Church Banquet Room, 2 Poland Manor Drive. The event will feature the dinner, a bag auction and a raffle.
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''Our goal is to raise $10,000,'' Zitello said.
According to Zitello, Kaden already has made several trips to the Cleveland Clinic for testing and he was recently placed on the transplant list. In the meantime, he is back at work in the Poland Giant Eagle and is able to function as long as he has his oxygen cylinder at his side. He did have a rough time this past winter when he struggled with pneumonia. Even with the oxygen, some of the daily activities have become a chore.
Kaden and his wife are the parents of two sons and and have three grandchildren. When the idea for the fundraiser came about, the Presbyterian Church members wanted to help.
''Our church people shop at the store and we wanted to be involved,'' Zitello said.
Funds raised will help Kaden cover the numerous trips to the Cleveland Clinic as well as the medications he will need following the transplant.
His family and friends have created a web page for Kaden called ''A second breath for Chuck Caden.''
''We hope to raise a lot for Chuck, and raise awareness for this incurable disease, because not only will it give him a second breath, it will give him a second chance at life,'' said Giant Eagle employee Jessica Yuricek.
Tickets will be sold at the door. For pre-sale tickets, contact Darla White at 330-531-4224 or Zitello at 330-720-0327.