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Hot-dog vendor Mark McCarthy headed home for holidays

Downtown hot-dog vendor Mark McCarthy, who suffered a debilitating stroke in August, will be home for Christmas.

McCarthy, who manned the corner stand between the county courthouse and the Rath Building, is known for more than a grilled lunch staple.

For years he has offered gossip, advice and contacts along with hotdogs, pop and chips.

He also participated in fundraising events that raised nearly $750,000 for those living with HIV and AIDS.

The stroke paralyzed McCarthy’s right side, severely impaired his speech and made it difficult for him to swallow.

According to his brother Joe McCarthy, being unable to work also put him in financial trouble.

McCarthy went from the hospital to the Buffalo Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing with no insurance, no Medicaid approval, no savings or other means of payment, and is facing a difficult road.

“We were here for Mark the same way here’s been there for many others through the years,” said Carole Francis, administrator of the rehabilitation center.

By September, McCarthy was able to attend a charity fundraising event, and his dedication to working toward full recovery was apparent.

On Tuesday, McCarthy will be returning home, thanks in part to a GoFundMe site set up by his friends.

The center also is donating a transport chair, walker and other personal equipment.

The GoFundMe site for McCarty is