Marathon community supports father of two with rare brain disease

Duana and Tim McCarthy


im McCarthy is the center of his family and just about everyone in Marathon knows him.

Duana McCarthy is Tim's wife. "He would do anything for you without asking for anything in return, all you had to do was ask and it would be done and sometimes you wouldn't even have to ask," says McCarthy.

Now his community is coming together to help Tim and his family during an extremely difficult time.

Lisa Collins is Tim's sister. "People come and help, not just for a week, not just for a few weeks, but for months. His friends are coming, let's come on, let's go to camp, let's go here, do you need to do anything?" says Collins.

In March, Tim was diagnosed with Creutzfelt-Jakob disease. The chances of getting this rare brain disease are one in a million. It typically kills within one year of diagnosis.

"I don't look that far, you just can't look that far. It would drive you crazy. It's one day at a time," says McCarthy.

For the last 10 years, Tim was able to walk to the top of a roof installing solar panels, but now he needs a wheelchair to get around. The ramp at his camp was put in by friends, helping him continue to go to the place he loves.

"I think the most amazing thing is to see all the people who are helping and not just for the short term, but for the long run. If we're doing this for 10 years, I believe these people would be here, if it was possible," says Collins.

The community is helping to raise money for Tim and his family, their goal is to raise $83,000 dollars to pay off their mortgage and have already raised more than half that amount. Anything extra would go to toward college expenses for his two daughters, Paige and Bailey.

The disease typically has no known cause, and currently doesn't have a cure.

His family just wants to raise awareness.

"Anyone, the first question, Lisa will verify this. They always say how did he get it? How did he catch it? You don't catch it, really. You need the awareness about it and maybe that again, there's gonna be more research and maybe it'll be able to help somebody else," says McCarthy.

If you would like to help, you can donate to the family benefit fund, by mailing or hand delivering your donation to:

NBT Bank

C/O The McCarthy Family Benefit Fund

P.O. Box 279

Marathon, NY 13803