October 28, 2015
A huge thanks to all of you who were able to contribute!
Please accept our sincere thanks for all of you who were able to participate in our recent golf tournament funding event! We had 53 golfers attend and about 60 at the follow up dinner. Many of the attendees also contributed by donating auction items, cash donations, hole sponsorships or buying auction items. For those that weren't able to attend, a big thanks to those who were kind enough to contribute by donating either goods and/or funds towards our cause.
We ended up with a relatively dry day on the golf course. Following that, we assembled for a terrific buffet dinner. During the dinner event, the guests were entertained by a great magician – Rod Boss. If anyone is interested adding an interesting element to a staff/corporate event, don't hesitate to contact Rod (he donated his time and expertise for our event).
We also had a chance to get updated on our main benefactor's current medical situation. Ella Ray is going to turn 9 in December, and she is scheduled to have her 30th surgery since birth. Her condition is related to rare form of skin cancer at birth. However, she is now experiencing other severe complications associated with the cancer. With all of this going on, Ella Ray ended up "entertaining" our guests for about 10 minutes, giving us her perspective on life... not once did she mention her challenges, but instead showed a huge amount of enthusiasm about the things she looks forward to doing in life.
Finally, we also had a chance to hear from a young lady, Nikita Graham, who lives near Ella Ray's family. Last January, Nikita had a chance encounter with Ella Ray and upon hearing about her medical issues, decided to throw her a Princess Birthday Party. Nikita was able to get a bunch of donated services to create this amazing day for Ella Ray... it started by being picked up at her school in a limousine! It was nice to see what others are doing for Ella Ray.
So, the day was very successful for the participants and the society and now we are able to continue to support this family financially.
A HUGE THANKS TO ALL OF YOU! Stay tuned for next year!
The Board of Directors for The Better Days Society
Ella Ray Update 2015
Heading into the fall of 2015, Ella Ray is scheduled for her 3oth surgery. The doctors have discovered that associated with her skin cancer, she now has other medical issues that are becoming important to manage immediately. After her 27th skin graft surgery, they have stopped dealing with the skin grafts... her 28th and 29th surgeries were to help treat a severe scoliosis of her spine. After these surgeries, she has been in a body cast to support the changes. In addition, Ella Ray is experiencing an early start to puberty, which along with the scoliosis, is creating problems in her pelvic bone structure.
So, with her 9th birthday coming in December 2015, Ella Ray's 30th surgery will be to reconstruct the pelvic bones and fuse a steel rod to her spine. After all she has gone through, the Doctor is telling her that this is a "really, really, really big surgery". Better Days is happy to be able to continue to support the Ella Ray and her dad financially through these difficult days.
Ella Ray's Story
Ella Ray is a 2 ½ year old girl who was born with very rare form of skin cancer. She has had many surgeries to remove/replace the diseased skin. The doctors have put expanders in her back to stretch her good skin, as they were running out of skin grafting locations. She has scheduled surgeries about every 3 months. Once this process is complete, she will have to go through chemo therapy. Her Dad is single parenting and had to give up his job, as Ella Ray requires constant care. Concerned family and friends started up a trust fund to assist paying some of the costs associated with her treatments. Better Days has committed to contributing to the trust fund for the next 12 months. This takes some of the pressure off the family as it gives them some reliable funding during this period.
Additional Community Support for Ella
2015 Golf Tournament Fund Raiser
Thank you to all of our participants! We appreciate your involvement and participation.
Stephanie has a very extreme case of epilepsy. Her seizures started when she was about 2 years old. Before long, she was experiencing many seizures each day, including multiple "grand mal" seizures. Over the course of the next couple of years, she received treatments through traditional medical methods. As the situation was not significantly improving, the family investigated other forms of treatment as a last resort. They found a local doctor who was training in both traditional and homeopathic medical disciplines. He felt that he could help by using homeopathic treatments. Unfortunately, these types of treatments are not covered by the medical plan and the costs were beyond the family's means. Better Days Society assisted in the cost of this alternative treatment. This gave Stephanie a chance at living some better days in her future.
Better Days has also helped other families with the following:
- Assisted with travel/accommodation for a family to see a doctor for consultation about seizures their 12 year old started to experience
- Contributed to an organization that was taking a group of special needs children to an out of town baseball tournament
- Assisted a low income family with purchasing shoes for their child. The child has cerebral palsy, and with that two significantly different sized feet. Each time they need new shoes, they have to buy two pairs.
- Assisted in the purchase of a handicap van to assist in the transport of a families disabled child