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Candler community rallies to support local boy in need of a liver

FILE - Noah McFall is a 9-year-old boy in Candler who is living with cystic fibrosis. The community and his church rallied around him and his family to help raise money for a liver transplant. (Photo credit: McFall family)

Noah McFall is a sweet 9-year-old boy living with cystic fibrosis. According to CFF.org, it's a life-threatening disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system. There is currently no cure for it. Noah was diagnosed at just 5-months-old, and since then, he has been in and out of hospitals.

"He does have a lot of medications to try to keep his lungs healthy, but he gets a lot of lung infections, so he spends a lot of time in the hospital," Noah's mother Tabitha McFall said. "He hasn't been able to go to school this year because of it."

Within the last year, Noah has been diagnosed with advanced stage liver cirrhosis, a complication of his cystic fibrosis. He has had episodes of internal bleeding that required blood transfusions and surgeries. The episodes will continue to happen unless Noah gets a liver transplant.

"He has to go to the Institute of Health and has advanced stage liver disease. We are trying to get him to where his lungs are healthy enough so he can have a transplant," Tabitha said.

Noah is waiting for his lung infection to clear up before he can be placed on the transplant list.

The cost of the surgery could range from $250,000 to $800,000, and insurance may not cover it. So, to prepare for the financial cost, the family has partnered with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association to raise the funds. Their first goal is to raise $75,000.

When the congregation at Montmorenci United Methodist Church, a small church in Candler where Tabitha and Noah attend, heard about Noah's need, they decided to put together a fundraising event.

"I thought if we raised $2,000 it would be wonderful, but this whole community came together, not just this church. It was amazing," event organizer Angie Mallonee.

In one day, the church raised almost $21,000. Tabitha said she is overwhelmed with joy.

"That was huge for a small church and small community. I felt like my son was very loved," Tabitha said.

She said the church has always been there for her family. Each time Noah has surgery at Chapel Hill, Pastor Karen Kurtz makes the four-hour drive to sit with Tabitha in the hospital.

The family still needs to raise money for Noah's surgery. If you would like to donate click here.

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