Silent auction and dinner to benefit Amber Dougherty

Tyrone six-year old Amber Dougherty likes to play outside with her friends just like any other kindergartner.
However, what most people don’t know about Amber is that she suffers from severe intractable epilepsy. This causes her to have seizures to what her mom, April Sharer, explained happens, “all the time it seems.”
Amber was diagnosed with severe intractable epilepsy when she was just 14 months old. Her seizures can last for hours, and her mom said that when they were in Cleveland, Amber “seized for eight hours and 37 minutes straight.”
She is life-flighted out of Tyrone Hospital at least once or twice a month. She has visited The Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital, Geisinger Medical Center, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and most recently to a hospital in Cleveland.
The doctors at the hospitals are doing all they can to help Amber. Right now they are treating her condition with medications, but no medicine is advanced enough at this time to solve the problem. On April 10, she was checked by a specialist in Cleveland to see if she could be a surgical candidate, but she was not eligible.
Amber is an active six-year old. She goes to kindergarten at Tyrone Elementary in Melissa Russell’s class in the morning, and in the afternoon she attends learning support with Amy Miller. Like any other child her age, she said her favorite time at school is recess.
Along with Amber’s medical problem, her family also faces great financial strain in the amount of $30,000. Her biological father is in the Army, and his insurance will not cover her medical needs because of “pre-existing conditions.”
Her step-father, Tony Sharer, works for Kunzler, and they graciously stepped up and cover Amber under their insurance. She also has medical assistance. However, the medical bills keep adding up over time for her family, because even with some insurance coverage, they are finding out the hard way, that insurance won’t cover all costs.
That is why a silent auction and spaghetti dinner was organized by the Bald Eagle United Methodist Church Parish and the Tyrone Schools to raise money for Amber and her family to offset incurred medical debt.
The silent auction and spaghetti dinner is scheduled for Friday, May 30 at the Bald Eagle Fire Hall. Tickets can be purchased at the Bald Eagle Church, JoyBeans, Alice’s Garden or at the Tyrone Area High School through Tanya Sharer. Tickets should be purchased by Monday, May 26.
Many local businesses and businesses from Altoona are donating items for the silent auction. Each person who purchases a $5 ticket for the benefit is encouraged to continually place a bid on the items to be auctioned off. Doors will be open at 5:30 p.m. to view and bid on the items. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m., and there will be some time after dinner to continue bidding. Items will be awarded at approximately 8 p.m. to the highest silent bid.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to the family or wishing to donate an item for the auction may do so by writing, sending a check or cash to:
“Amber Dougherty Fund,” c/o Tanya Sharer, RR3 Box 261, Tyrone, PA 16686. Also, donations can be made to Omega Bank, carefully designated for the “Amber Dougherty Fund.”
If anyone has any questions, contact Pastor Jay Jones at 684-0179, Melissa Russell at 684-7486 or 684-1342 ext. 2120 or Amy Miller at 684-1342 ext. 2115.
April Sharer would like to thank many people in the community for their support. Those people include: Amy Miller, Melissa Russell, Pastor Jay Jones and the Bald Eagle Church, the Bald Eagle Fire Hall for donating the hall for the dinner at no cost, and the Tyrone School District staff for having a dress-down day to raise money in support of Amber.
Amber is a brave little girl, and she and her family are going to continue living as much of a normal life as they can with love, support, and hope.
“There’s always hope,” said Sharer, “but it’s just the way she is.”