June fundraiser planned to benefit 'Gracie'
Sabrina Bates, News Editor
With only a small group of people sharing the same common goal, the planning efforts to raise money for Martin’s Gracie Davidson have already been far reaching.
Gracin is the five-year-old daughter of Stacey and Kevin Davidson. Within only a few days of being brought into the world, Gracin was battling for her life.
At only 15 days old, Gracin went into congestive heart failure and once she surmounted that battle, doctors and her family knew it would be uphill her entire life.
Gracin was eventually diagnosed with 1p36 deletion syndrome. The rare condition is a chromosomal disorder as a result of a piece of missing chromosome.
The terminal illness causes significant developmental delays in children.
Doctors had only given Gracin three months to live. Five years later, Gracin is making great strides with an oxygen intensive treatment available in Wisconsin known as a “Place of Grace.” With the help of a hyperbaric oxygen treatment machine at the clinic in Wisconsin, Gracin has been able to sit up at times, a task that seemed insurmountable in the past.
HBOT is a painless procedure in which a person is exposed to increased pressure, allowing greater absorption of oxygen throughout body tissues.
Even with such an effective treatment, most standard medical insurance policies do not cover HBOT treatment, much less travel expenses to Wisconsin.
With that in mind, a small group of people have pooled together to help raise money for the Davidson family to be able to purchase a machine for use in their home.
The American Legion Sons of the American Legion Post #55 have worked diligently in the last several weeks organizing one of the largest “Poker Run” fundraisers in Northwest Tennessee.
“When I heard about Gracie’s situation, it shook my core. My wife and I had a child that was born terminally ill. Life as we knew it, was rocked on its axis. Families in this type of situation are financially burdened and I know many are completely dependant on those donations cans that sit in gas stations,” S.A.L.S event coordinator Mike Newsom explained.
Newsom said when he presented the idea to the S.A.L.S., everyone jumped in with both feet and nine volunteers have scoured the streets searching for donations and sponsors of the event.
“Let’s say there are 30,000 people in Weakley County. If everyone gave $1, we would have $30,000. This is going to happen, it’s got to,” Newsom added.
Thus far, the group has gained an official sponsor of the event through Boosted Brad’s Chop Shop.
Greenfield band “Old Haul” has agreed to provide a free concert after the Poker Run that day.
A live auction of donated items will also take place after the Poker Run.
As volunteers still seek auction donation items, friends of the S.A.L.S. are spreading the word to motorcycle enthusiasts to join in the Poker Run planned for Saturday, June 19.
The cost is $20 per hand, which automatically enters each rider into a pool for a chance to win $10,000 in credit at Boosted Brad’s towards the purchase of a custom chopper.
The winner of the Poker run will receive $250. There is also a 50/50, raffles, door prizes and food and drink specials planned for the event.
Registration begins at 10 a.m. The first bike out is at 11 a.m. and the last bike in is at 4 p.m. at the American Legion Post #55 in Martin.
Stops and starts are planned in Mayfield, Ky.; Newbern, Martin, Sharon and Dresden as of press time.
Auction donation items will be accepted until the day of the event, but donors are asked to contact Newsom or any member of S.A.L.S. to confirm items.
Newsom can be reached at 588-4531. Details can also be found on the Facebook page, Pray for Gracin Davidson - 1p36 Deletion Syndrome or on the Web at www.gracindavidson.com.
“We encourage people to pray for Gracin and her family, because that is what is needed now,” Newsom added.