Silver Creek native Deke Dalrymple, a father of nine, business owner and Air Force veteran, has been diagnosed with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, a rare autoimmune disorder of the liver.
Once a picture of health, the damage from the PBC progressed quickly. By the time he was diagnosed, Dalrymple was in stage-four, end-stage liver disease and was placed on the Liver Transplant Waiting List.
Since being diagnosed, Dalrymple has suffered with complications, including a severe infection, a hernia and an inability to work due to his worsening condition. Because of this decline in income, the family is faced with increasing medical bills and was unable to pay the premiums for the high-risk insurance he requires.
Deke Dalrymple is pictured with his youngest son, Fin. Deke was diagnosed with stage-four Primary Biliary Cirrhosis and now needs the community’s help to offset the cost of medical bills.
Pictured from front left are Anna, Finley, Alek, (second row) Sen, Deke (Dalrymple), Alissa, Bodhi, (third row), Sky and Elsa Dalrymple.
The family is asking the community to help Dalrymple through this struggle by donating to a fundraiser organized by friends and family.
"Those of you that know Deke Dalrymple likely understand what a gentle and powerful soul he is. Being unable to make his body do what he wants has been an unfamiliar and humbling experience, and something for which he is uncomfortable requesting help. Deke has remained steadfast through many of his life's challenges, even tragedies," Deke's wife Alissa said.
Dalrymple grew up in Silver Creek the son of the late Donald Dalrymple and Gerrieanne Griffin, stepson of Jean Dalrymple and brother to Joyce Boedo and Scott Dalrymple. After graduating from Silver Creek Central School, he entered the Air Force, where he went overseas from 1970 to 1974 and then again in 1978, when he was honorably discharged in 1979.
After losing his wife, Deena Rae, to cancer in 2004, with four young children to care for and two children from a previous marriage, he met Alissa (Finley) and her two young children. They fell in love and were married in 2006. In 2008, they had a son, Fin. The family lives in Norman, Okla.
In 2010, Dalrymple was diagnosed with PCB, which had been silently and slowly attacking his liver for years.
While awaiting a liver, Dalrymple suffered a severe bacterial infection that is common with stage-four liver disease. This left him weakened and although he tried to continue working, further declining health forced him to close his self-made business.
"He is very brilliant and very self sufficient. It's very sad this happened to him," Deke's stepmother, Jean Dalrymple, said.
Because of this, the family could not maintain the premiums for high-risk insurance and the transplant center where Dalrymple was a patient for three years dropped him as a patient. The family explored every avenue for assistance, albeit unsuccessfully.
Dalrymple became a patient at the VA hospital, but this has put his treatment back at square one. While he waits for each step in government processes to go through before he can get a transplant, he is suffering from a painful hernia, which needs to be corrected with surgery and is in need of assistance to regain insurance coverage and pay for the necessary medicine and treatments.
In the long term, Dalrymple is hoping to have a liver transplant surgery, which can cost $500,000, in addition to the high cost of anti-rejection medications after the surgery.
Family and friends posted their fundraiser online and were able to raise $6,315 toward their $15,000 goal. The online fundraiser has concluded, but the family would appreciate any donations. Checks can be made out to The Deke Dalrymple Recovery Fund and can be mailed to Deke Dalrymple, 2924 Woodview Drive, Norman, Okla., 73071.