Here’s why ‘Dayton is for Livers’ -- and how you can help this Dayton man pay for his new one

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Put simply, Dayton drummer Ian Kaplan has a really bad liver. Good thing he also has some really good friends.

The web developer for creative agency Real Art said those good friends — his bandmates in the Dayton group Company Man included — came to his aid when he started worrying about the expense of getting rid of that bad liver for one in good shape.

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GoFundme.com has been established, and an aptly named "Dayton is for Livers" benefit for Kaplan is set for 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 5 at the Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St. in the Oregon District.

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Admission is $10 for the concert, which will showcase music from Nathan Peters of Lioness;  Andy Gabbard of Road Eyes and Buffalo KillersPJ and Tommy of Party Man and The Motel BedsAndy Smith of Me TimeQuemado featuring Nate Farley and the band Shrug.

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Motel Beds are (from left) Tod Weidner, Tommy Cooper, Ian Kaplan, PJ Paslosky and Darryl Robbins. CONTRIBUTED

Motel Beds are (from left) Tod Weidner, Tommy Cooper, Ian Kaplan, PJ Paslosky and Darryl Robbins. CONTRIBUTED

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Motel Beds are (from left) Tod Weidner, Tommy Cooper, Ian Kaplan, PJ Paslosky and Darryl Robbins. CONTRIBUTED

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Kaplan, also a member of the band Motel Beds, said he is blown away by the support he and his wife, Dayton artist Brooke Medlin, have received from friends, family members and strangers.

He is grateful, but not exactly surprised.

“The community is extremely generous. It is a Dayton thing. It is a really different vibe in this city than other places in Ohio,” he said. “It is part of being a human being and helping others feel good. Why wouldn’t you want to do that all the time?”

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At age 16, Kaplan was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a chronic disease that can lead to to liver failure, repeated infections, and tumors of the bile duct or liver.

“It doesn’t really have a cure,” he said. “A liver transplant is the only option.”

Kaplan’s now late-father, Harold Kaplan, successfully donated part of his liver to him in 1999.

Portal vein thrombosis reduced blood supply to his liver to the point where it no longer was functioning. Ian  subsequently became septic.

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He had to have the whole thing explained to him days later.

“I felt like I had the flu one night and woke up in the hospital,” the 1996 Beavercreek High School grad recalled. “I remember parking the car (at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base hospital), and going in.”

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Archived 1999 photo: The future looks a little brighter for Ian Kaplan, right, since it was discovered that his father Harold can donate part of his liver to Ian since Ian's is damaged from the disease primary sclerosing cholangitis. PSC is a rare disease not associated with a large non-profit organization and so it is difficult to obtain information about it.

Credit: MAME BURNS

Archived 1999 photo: The future looks a little brighter for Ian Kaplan, right, since it was discovered that his father Harold can donate part of his liver to Ian since Ian's is damaged from the disease primary sclerosing cholangitis. PSC is a rare disease not associated with a large non-profit organization and so it is difficult to obtain information about it.

Credit: MAME BURNS

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Archived 1999 photo: The future looks a little brighter for Ian Kaplan, right, since it was discovered that his father Harold can donate part of his liver to Ian since Ian's is damaged from the disease primary sclerosing cholangitis. PSC is a rare disease not associated with a large non-profit organization and so it is difficult to obtain information about it.

Credit: MAME BURNS

Credit: MAME BURNS

Now, 15 years after that second transplant, Kaplan is in need of a new liver.

“It is going to be a lot of money,” Kaplan said, estimating his share of the expense at tens of thousands of dollars.

“Your health is really fragile after that and you are really going to the doctor for a while.”

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Kaplan said PSC started giving him problems this time around in 2010.

It has progressed over the last year or so, to the point where he is now working from home and has had frequent hospital visits.

“Most of the time anymore I am exhausted and I don’t want to do anything,” he said. “It is fatigue like I can’t explain to you. You don’t have the energy to move.”

Right now, Kaplan is in a holding pattern. He is sick, but there are people on the waiting list sicker than he.

Kaplan said he tries to be a good person.

“I tried to live my life to the best of my ability. Whenever I can, I give as much as I can to others,” he said. “I am not perfect all the time.”

He said he is learning lessons about life from the support he is getting.

“It is reminding people that everybody they know has something going on in their life,” he said. “It’s just helpful to act like a community and help each other when we need help.”

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Motel Beds drummer Ian Kaplan shared humorous insights into the life of a musician.

Credit: HANDOUT

Motel Beds drummer Ian Kaplan shared humorous insights into the life of a musician.

Credit: HANDOUT

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Motel Beds drummer Ian Kaplan shared humorous insights into the life of a musician.

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

Want to go?

WHAT: "Dayton is for Livers" benefit for Ian Kaplan

WHEN: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.  Saturday, May 5

WHERE: The Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St. in the Oregon District

COST: $10

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Ian Kaplan and his wife Brooke Medlin.

Ian Kaplan and his wife Brooke Medlin.

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Ian Kaplan and his wife Brooke Medlin.

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