STEELE CREEK — If you’ve ever wanted to make a difference in another person’s life but haven’t known where to start, there’s a chance this weekend.
Christy’s Courage Foundation will be holding a fundraiser Saturday, Oct. 5, at Mac’s Speed Shop in Steele Creek to raise awareness for Esophageal Atresia.
“That is a big word for a rare birth defect that affects about 1 in 4,000 children in the United States, 1 in 10,000 worldwide,” said foundation founder Christy Cook. “And it’s a big word for children being born without an esophagus.”
Cook is an EA survivor. She knew she was meant to make a difference in the lives of other people suffering from EA. Last year, she met a Lake Wylie family whose child also had EA. That’s when Cook decided to start Christy’s Courage.
So far, the foundation has been able to help that family and another affected by EA.
“I am willing to help in whatever capacity I can to give my story and my hope to these families,” she said.
For Kelly Daves, mother of a child helped by the foundation, it’s also about raising awareness.
“This doesn’t stop with the surgeries. It doesn’t stop,” she said.
Her wish is for others in the community to understand the struggles EA families deal with.
“Each one (child) can have a variation of medical needs,” she said. “They really do need to be watched closely, at school and everywhere else.”
Crystall Wise, mother of the other child helped by the foundation, said, “Each and every one of our children have had a piece of their childhood taken away because of the days, hours, weeks, months that require life-threatening treatment for Jaylyn.”
But she said, “We will not let EA (to) define Jaylyn or our family. My child has the mind of a typical 4 year old, please treat her the same as you would other 4 year olds.
“Life could be a lot worse, and we know we are blessed through all of this,” Wise said. “Everyone has some type of challenge in their life. Jaylyn’s just happens to be EA/TEF (Trachea-Esophageal Fistula).”
Money raised this weekend will go to research at the Boston Children’s Hospital.
“They’re able to grow tracheas,” she said. “I think if they can grow an esophagus, it would be not quite such a hard surgery for children to have to undergo to correct their defect.”
Want to go?
Christy’s Courage BBQ Bash for EA Awareness will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Mac’s Speed Shop patio, 2414 Sandy Porter Road, Steele Creek.
The event includes barbecue plates, cornhole and live music by Woo Way. A silent auction will be held with items including tickets to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, massage gift certificates, a gift certificate for tax preparation, an assortment of gift baskets, and purses and pocketbooks.
Tickets cost $25. For tickets and information, visit christyscourage.com. Call Mac’s Speed Shop at 704-504-8500 for more information.