FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Hundreds of first responder families, and other members of the public, gathered in Fort Collins Saturday to raise money for a family in need of financial assistance. The nonprofit Northern Colorado Police and Fire Families hosted a comedy show at The Drake Center with proceeds going to the Clow Family.
Payton Clow, 24, has mounting medical bills. Her health battle began in 2011 and continues to this day. Her leg had to be amputated, and she was forced to move to Cleveland while she awaits life-dependent transplants.
“(My illness) caused my intestines to fail. We don’t know why,” Clow told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “I’m still listed for transplant, so I have to stay close to the hospital.”
In order to pay for Clow’s medical bills, her parents were forced to sell their home. Clow’s father, a Fort Collins Police sergeant, works extensive overtime in order to help pay for bills in Fort Collins and Cleveland.
“I kind of get through the hard times through jokes and laughing,” Clow said.
Northern Colorado Police and Fire Families organized the comedy show in her honor. Local comedians like Vinny Montez donated their time to the cause.
After nearly a year without returning home, Clow surprised those at the event by showing up. A surgery just two weeks prior wouldn’t stop her from attending.
“There’s nothing like being home,” Clow said.
“We thought it would be a group of 20 to 50 people, and we are at 2,000 people now,” said Sara Feaster, an event organizer.
“We are coming together as a community of first responders, building new relationships and friendships in a positive fashion,” said Andy Feaster, an event organizer.
After a night of comedy, those in attendance helped raise more than $15,000 for the Clow family.
“The support I’ve received through all of this has been huge. Complete strangers have given me support,” Clow said.
“It really takes a village. Ours is pretty good,” said Stacey Clow, Payton’s mother.