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Barbecue benefit for the Colarusso family

Last month, the couple's 18-month-old daughter, Olivia, went into acute liver failure and had to get a transplant. Olivia's mother turned out to be a perfect match.

FORTY FORT, Pa. — It's been a rough summer for the Colarusso family from Forty Fort.

Last month, the couple's 18-month-old daughter, Olivia, went into acute liver failure and had to get a transplant.

A benefit was held in Wyoming to help support the family. 

Edward Colarusso is Olivia's father.

"It's, I am kind of speechless to be quite honest. It takes the words out of my mouth. I mean with all the negativity with COVID and everything else going on in the world right now it is so," said Edward Colarusso, Olivia's father.

"nice to see something positive happening. It's crazy to see all the people, anywhere from families to strangers, coming together to help support someone, some family who has been something that is so very hard and challenging," added Edward.

What's unique about this story is that Olivia's mother, Kristen, was a perfect match.

Doctors say it's not often this happens with parents and children.

Kristen donated 20 percent of her liver to her 1-year-old daughter, and although both are doing well, the family still has a lot of doctors' appointments and medical bills ahead of them.

Friends, families, coworkers, and even perfect strangers planned this benefit barbecue for the family at Wyoming Lodge.

"We preordered 500 chicken and completely sold out of them. We have raffle baskets, we have tickets for bake sale, tshirts, hats, masks, I just got out 100th basket wooohoo. It's just been amazing," said Jennifer Merithew, friend.

For the healthy and safety of Kristen and Olivia .. the family was unable to attend the benefit but Kristen says she appreciates everything the community has done.

"It's truly and amazing thing that is happening right now. I don't have words to put to paper or to my mouth right now to describe how. I feel and there are no words that I can say to thank them but I am truly thankful for everyone," said Kristen Colarusso.

The barbecue dinners cost $10.

All proceeds from the event went to the Colarusso family.