Family holds fundraiser yard sale at Covington's Antiques & More

COVINGTON -- For those who like to take in yard sales on Saturday mornings, a very special yard sale/fundraiser will be taking place Oct. 6 and 13.

The Vargo family of Covington will be hosting a huge sale with items collected from family and friends, which include furniture, household items, clothes, collectibles, a Wii game console with games and much more. The sale will be held in the parking lot of Antiques & More, 2177 Elm St. in Covington from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting.

Proceeds from the sale will go the James B. Vargo Fund at Bank of America where donations can be made at any branch location.

Vargo, 47, has been sick for nearly two years with gastroparesis, a condition that causes a partial paralysis of the stomach, resulting in limited digestion of food and blockages in the digestive system.

"This is not just a fundraiser, but it's also to bring awareness of this condition," said Kathy Vargo, wife of 30 years. "He is being treated at Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Fla., and we're awaiting the insurance approval for him to have surgery down there. They're going to try the bypass ... take out some of the damaged areas. I guess the best way to put it is they're going to make him a new pipeline."

Mrs. Vargo said her husband went undiagnosed for several months and once it was discovered what the condition was, controlling it has been difficult. At this point, the only alternative Vargo has is the surgery or to have a feeding tube.

"There is no cure ... they're trying to avoid the feeding tube," Mrs. Vargo said, explaining that the tube would bring with it a whole series of additional health problems.

Vargo has been in and out of the hospital many times in the past year, and Mrs. Vargo said she is appreciative of the care and support he has received.

"I can't say enough about Newton General. The folks who work in the Emergency Room are phenomenal," she said.

Vargo is employed by Borden Dairies.

"He still works as much as he can," Mrs. Vargo said. "He is with one of the best group of guys ... between his boss and the company itself, they are so supportive of him."

However, she said he has exhausted all of his sick pay and will be on short-term disability following the surgery.

"We have no savings, everything is gone," Mrs. Vargo said. "There will be a lot of out-of-pocket expense, travel, medications and things. I'll be staying at the hospital. I can't afford a hotel room for four or five weeks."

The Vargos have two grown children and a 6-year-old granddaughter Shyann who is very concerned about "Po-Po" and discusses her grandfather's condition with her pediatrician.

Mrs. Vargo said her husband saw her through cancer in the early years of their marriage and now it is her turn.

"This is my time to be his champion and his voice when he's too exhausted to speak," she said. "We've lost quite a bit financially, but we've discovered those things really don't mean that much."

For more information, call Mrs. Vargo at 678-327-6600.