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BY ANDREA NEALON
This time, it's the doctor who is sick.
And it will take more than a prescription to get him well--it will take people from across the community joining together to help.
That's what's happening this Saturday night--and you're invited: Family and friends of former local doctor Brian Buckley are sponsoring an evening of music and a live auction to help Buckley, who is in urgent need of a living donor for a liver transplant.
Buckley's daughter, Melissa Crisp, a Fredericksburg resident, helped organize the event and auction.
"We've got a lot of great items to auction off" to help cover already large medical expenses, Crisp said.
Items include Washington Nationals and Redskins tickets; a one-year YMCA family membership; a week at Massanutten; dinner for 10 at the Kenmore Inn; Lasik eye surgery (valued at $5,000); paintings from prominent artists, including Betsy Glassie; photography packages; golf outings; and gift certificates to Olde Towne Steak and Seafood, Jake and Mike's, Sammy T's and Lee's Ice Cream.
Buckley--who, in addition to caring for patients, also coached youth baseball, football and basketball teams for Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation--had an internal medicine practice for several years in Fredericksburg.
Some of his former patients are planning to attend Saturday's event.
"My dad prided himself on taking time with his patients to explain what was really going on with them," Crisp said.
Two popular local bands, the Glass Onion Band and Drivin' South, will provide the evening's entertainment in a donation of time and talents. Joining them will be the Piedmont Caledonia Pipes and Drums, saluting Buckley's fondness for all things Irish.
Drivin' South and the Glass Onion Band play a variety of classic and Southern rock.
"Drivin' South is hoping to raise a lot of money for this cause and get the word out that Brian is in need of a liver," said Donna Brannan, wife of lead guitarist Buddy Brannan.
"We look forward to being part of the benefit, look forward to entertaining the crowd and are hoping to make a difference for Brian."
Many local residents have expressed support for the Buckley family, including family friends Mary and Gerardo Despian.
Gerardo was tested but was not a match.
A potential donor must have type O blood (either positive or negative), be between 18 and 50 years of age, in good health and with a body size and structure similar to that of Buckley.
All expenses related to the testing, surgery and hospital stay are completely covered.
Buckley began his career as a professional baseball player with the California Angels before deciding to apply to medical school. He is in the University of California, Davis, baseball and football halls of fame.
But what really motivates people is Buckley's character.
"Brian has always been a very kind and gentle person," Crisp said. "He's very down-to-earth and I think his patients really loved him for that."
Andrea Nealon: 540/374-5000, ext. 5779