Yard sale planned to help local family | RecordCourier.com

Yard sale planned to help local family

Linda Hiller

Plans for a yard sale Saturday to benefit the McElhiney family are shaping up nicely, according to organizer Stevie Henderson.

“We’ve had several calls already from people wanting to donate items,” she said. “We’re expecting that many people will be bringing things to the sale Saturday, also.”

The McElhineys – dad Mike, mom Julie and daughters Rachael and Michaelyn moved to Carson Valley from 8,000-foot-high Mammoth, Calif. in 1995. The move was an effort to get Julie to a lower altitude because of her rare lung ailment, lymphangioleiomyomatosis, which requires a lung transplant as its only effective treatment.

The disease is rare, afflicting women only, usually in their childbearing years. For this reason, researchers speculate it may be the increase in the hormone estrogen that triggers or exacerbates the condition. When Julie was diagnosed in 1994, she had two small daughters.

In 1995 the family decided to move off Mammoth mountain, a place they had lived for decades. During that move, a call came in telling them a lung was available. The McElhineys headed to the University of California, Los Angeles for the operation that would change their lives.

After any transplant, the recipient must take immune suppressant drugs to prevent their body from rejecting the “foreign object.”

One of the negative side effects of the immune suppressants is that it causes the body to be more vulnerable to infection since the immune function is weakened. This has contributed to Julie’s lengthy recovery, preventing both of them from returning to work. Julie is a hairdresser and Mike a finish carpenter.

Currently, the McElhineys are at UCLA for their routine 3-6 month check-up, and to get help fighting Julie’s latest viral infection. They hope to be home the end of this week.

Mike said that after a newspaper article about them last June, the family received – among other things – an anonymous donation for $1,000.

“We were overwhelmed,” he said from Julie’s sister’s home near UCLA. “It was completely out of the blue. I called the bank and tried to find out who sent it so I could thank them, but they couldn’t tell me. Whoever it was, thank you.”

He also said the day after the Father’s Day article was published, a woman came to their door and handed him a Father’s Day card with a $20 bill inside.

“It was pouring down rain and she said ‘Are you Mike? Here, Happy Father’s Day,’ and then she left so fast I couldn’t see who it was. It was a wonderful gesture,” he said. “We appreciate all the blessings we’ve had.”

Organizers for Saturday’s fund-raiser yard sale are asking for donations of items. Bring donations to the old Copeland Lumber site at the corner of County Road and Highway 395 in Minden on Saturday morning, or call Keith Lowe, 265-2751 or Henderson, 265-4066 for pick up. Tax receipts will be available.

There is an account for the McElhiney family at the Nevada State Bank branch inside Smith’s Food and Drug, 1341 Highway 395 in Gardnerville. The account number is 440012284.

The yard sale will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.