HERMISTON - When Johnathan Nolan's liver began to fail, his sisters came to his rescue. For the past several weeks they've combed the city collecting cans to help pay for ongoing treatment and an eventual liver transplant.

According to his mother, Michele Nolan, a virus attacked Johnathan's liver when he was 6 months old. The virus scarred his liver and he never fully recovered. Now, however, the 2-year-old's liver is showing signs of getting worse and hope for recovery from the virus has dwindled. Good Shepherd Medical Center and Doernbecher's Children's Hospital have been treating him. The next step is a liver transplant, said Michele Nolan.

"The hospital is doing a workup now," she said.

Right now they are trying to decided between Seattle and California for the transplant.

The medical bills are huge for the care Johnathan's receiving, and a transplant is off the charts. The family has health insurance, but it is limited on how much it reimburses and the costs of traveling to and from hospitals is causing a financial hardship.

"He has to have a special formula and it costs about $1,000 a month," Michele Nolan said.

That's when Johnathan's sisters decided to do something.

Tara Farquhar, 13, and Jennifer Nolan, 10, have been canvassing the city collecting cans to raise month in a campaign they started called "Cans For Johnny." They also are selling candy. As of Friday they had raised about $700.

Along with the girls, local 76 Stations are helping the cause by making discount car wash tickets for the girls to sell and raise money. Michelle's husband, a local truck driver, is doing his best to help raise money as well.

Anyone wanting to contribute cans to Johnathan's cause can bring them to his grandmother's house at 455 E. Jennie Ave. Space 52 in Hermiston. People also can make donations to: Johnathan's Liver Transplant at the Bank of Eastern Oregon, 101 NW Front Street, Boardman, OR, 97818.

The family brings receipts of their expenses before taking money out of the account.

"It's better to do it this way," Michele Nolan said.

An ice cream social will be held at Simplot March 19.

For more information, call Nolan at 567-5446.

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