Story last updated at 1/28/2009 - 11:19 am
JUNEAU - Weneger's granulomatosis is a rare form of auto-immune vasculitis with only 10 cases per million each year. It affects the entire body, especially the lungs, joints, blood vessels and other vital organs. Symptoms are anything but comfortable and the pain has been described as having broken glass running through your veins.
Juneau resident Joe Golden has been struck with this disease quite suddenly and is subsequently unable to return to his job as a mine rescue crewmember at Green's Creek Mine.
On Dec. 22, he was medevaced to Seattle in critical condition for respiratory failure. Upon his arrival, he was diagnosed with granulomatosis and returned to Juneau with a long-term treatment plan. On Jan. 25, he was medevaced to Seattle again because his condition was worsening.
Golden is 24 and lives with his wife, Elsa, 27, and their three daughters, Nakiya, Mariah, and Juliauna, ages six, two, and one. His prescribed treatment consists of several medications that will leave him unable to return to work for at least a year.
"He's got the biggest heart," said Jody Hass, a friend of the Goldens. "He'd give you the shirt off his back. It's really unfortunate everything that's going on."
Friends of the Golden family have joined together to host a fundraiser this Saturday, Jan. 31, from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Gruening Park Rec. Hall. There will be a baked potato bar and dessert auction, as well as a general auction.
Items that have been donated for auction include two airline tickets from Wings, a locally made quilt, office chairs, boat accessories, and more.
"We are getting more donations every day from people," said Tracy Moore, fundraiser planner. "We think it'll be a lot of fun."
In addition to the auction, there will be door prizes drawn throughout the night.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids under 12, and $25 for families of three or more.
If you are unable to attend but would still like to contribute, the Joseph Golden Donation Account is open for donations at any Wells Fargo Bank.
For more information, contact Tracy at 796-8933 or 723-3712.