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Local responders host fundraisers for 911 dispatcher in need of kidney transplant

SALISBURY — Allen Carlyle was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 10. Last year, he knew the damage to his kidneys would eventually mean he’d need a transplant.

Local emergency responders are hosting a barbecue chicken dinner today to raise money to help Carlyle, a 911 dispatcher and member of the Rowan County Rescue Squad.

Carlyle continues to work and receive dialysis at home, but the medical bills are stacking up, he said.

The fundraiser will be at the station, 1140 Julian Road, beginning at 11 a.m. and lasting until all meals are sold. The plates are $9 and can be carried out, delivered or eaten at the station.

“My kidneys shut down January of this year. I’ve been prepping since last year,” Carlyle said.

While he sleeps, Carlyle uses a cycler machine for treatment until he can have a kidney transplant.

His wife shared on Facebook that Carlyle is in need of a kidney, and the post was shared. Former Pooletown firefighter Brian Ehlers contacted Carlyle to say he’d like to be tested as a donor. Ehlers was a blood type and tissue match, Carlyle said.

“It’s been enlightening. You never realize how many people you talk to and who you affect each day,” he said.

Carlyle said Ehlers must undergo more health screenings before he can be a donor.

Another major fundraiser is actually a series of ongoing efforts called Battle of the Badges. The idea is to have each emergency response department conduct its own fundraiser. Once those fundraisers have been completed, all the organizers will gather for a day of fellowship from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 29 at Dan Nicholas Park along with their families, sponsors and others.

The event will include pre-sale barbecue chicken plates, a cornhole tournament and a concert in the park by local musician Darrell Harwood.

All departments will come together for a day of celebration. This year’s proceeds will go to assist medical and personal needs during Carlyle’s continued treatment.

“They all called and told me it was happening. I was very appreciative. It’s been very hard with the medical bills stack up and trying to work and do dialysis,” Carlyle said.

Carlyle also needs a pancreas transplant but does not qualify for one. However, if he receives a new kidney, most of his problems will be resolved.

“I’m really appreciative of everyone’s willingness to help me. It’s been an eye-opening experience,” Carlyle said.

Chicken dinner tickets can be ordered at rowanrescue@rowanrescue.org or by calling 704-633-5405. Organizers say delivery is available for five or more orders. Debit and credit cards are accepted.

For more about the Battle of the Badges fundraiser, visit https://www.rowancountync.gov/ and search under the news section.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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