BROOKSVILLE — Without a liver transplant, Steve Davey's days likely are numbered.
The 59-year-old English and speech teacher and girls' volleyball coach at Springstead High School is suffering from sclerosing cholangitis, a rare liver disease, said Davey's wife, Becky. Most of those who get the disease are men.
Since being diagnosed two years ago, Steve Davey has undergone numerous procedures at Brooksville Regional Hospital, Oak Hill Hospital and the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, all to no avail.
The Mayo has top-listed him as a liver recipient candidate.
The surgery and subsequent medication are costly. Davey's health insurance will pay $700,000. He needs $45,000 more for the procedure, then around $1,500 a month for medications.
Davey's friends are planning a fundraiser with big expectations for him and other potential liver transplant patients as well.
Patricia Posey, the main organizer of the event, considered sponsoring dinners with prizes from businesses, but calculated that the organization couldn't have raised enough money in these economic tough times.
So instead, Posey wants to hold a party at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, hoping to arrange guest appearances by Buccaneer team members and nationally known entertainers. The effort is flagging, however, as no one has responded to her requests yet.
Before he took the job at Springstead High, Davey was well known for coaching girls volleyball at West Hernando Christian School and as a volleyball referee in a county league.
Davey also is an ordained Christian minister who has performed marriage ceremonies for some of his former students.
As to his affliction, Davey said, "Even when people look okay, they're not."
Davey said that in addition to the pain, he's often tired and now has mood swings.
But there is some hope: Eight years ago, Davey lived through a battle with colon cancer. "I'm blessed that I'm still here," he said.
Beth Gray can be contacted at graybethn.earthlink.net