web analytics

Tag Archive | "gofundme"

Benefit raises over $2000 for Ricker family


 

Brison headed back to Texas for more treatment

Classic Kelly’s raised over $2000 for the Ricker family at a spaghetti dinner benefit Sunday evening. Photo from Classic Kelly’s facebook page.

Classic Kelly’s raised over $2000 for the Ricker family at a spaghetti dinner benefit Sunday evening. Photo from Classic Kelly’s facebook page.

By Judy Reed

Classic Kelly’s Family Restaurant put on a spaghetti dinner benefit for the family of Brison and Preston Ricker Sunday night, and raised over $2200 to help them with the medical costs of fighting cancer.

The restaurant put on the benefit during the evening dinner hours, and donated 100 percent of the proceeds to the Rickers. All the employees at the restaurant donated their time to the cause. Dinners were sold for $10 each.

The next fundraiser will be the March can drive at Meijer in Cedar Springs on Monday, 6, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Brison was diagnosed with a rare, inoperable brain tumor called DIPG a year ago, and his younger brother Preston was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in December. Preston has had surgery and other therapy, and Brison has been undergoing alternative cancer treatments since last summer, after his oncologist here said there was nothing more they could do. Those treatments are $17,000 per month, and not covered by insurance.

Brison had showed signs of getting better and feeling better, and his family was hopeful that his latest MRI’s would show that progress. However, according to Brison’s mom, Kim Ricker, the latest spinal MRI shows progression, with several spots on the lining of his brain, and extensive nodular enhancing metastatic disease along his spine. Doctors here had been giving him his Avastin treatment free of charge, but will not do that now, since they don’t believe it is working. That will be another $7,000 per month the family will need to pay. The doctors here have offered full brain and spinal radiation, but Kim said that is not an option they are considering because of the great harm involved with radiation.

They will be traveling back to Texas next week, where Brison will be started on an additional Antineoplaston treatment.

To donate to the Ricker family through their gofundme page, go to https://www.gofundme.com/rickerstrong.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Year in Review: Cedar Springs community is #rickerstrong


Ricker Family: L to R Preston, Brian, Brison, and Kim.

Ricker Family: L to R Preston, Brian, Brison, and Kim.

By Judy Reed

Another amazing story in 2016 is the way that the Cedar Springs community has embraced a local family and supported them in their fight against a rare brain tumor. Before symptoms began last fall, Brison Ricker was a happy, well-liked and athletic teen, who loved riding dirt bikes with his younger brother Preston, and playing soccer. In January 2016, Brison was diagnosed with a rare and deadly childhood brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine glioma (DIPG), which is nearly always fatal and lacks an effective treatment, according to Stanford University. The tumor is inoperable because it grows through the brain stem, and half of patients die within 9 months. A gofundme page was set up to help the Rickers with expenses, and groups began holding fundraisers—and praying. Then, in the late spring, Brison’s family was told to take Brison home and call in hospice because he didn’t have long to live.

But Brison’s parents, Brian and Kim Ricker, are strong in their faith in God, and believed there was another way to beat it. They sought alternative treatment at the Burzynski clinic in Texas—a treatment that had reportedly had some good results in other patients, but was not covered by insurance—and would run $17,000 a month for the treatments alone, not including loss of income from the parents staying home to take care of Brison. The community has continued with fundraising drives to help the family meet the costs, and continued to pray, and though Brison has gone through some tough stretches, his MRI shows he is making progress. Unfortunately, on the same day last week that they received the good news on Brison’s progress, they were hit with the news that Brison’s younger brother Preston, has thyroid cancer. He is due to be operated on next month. If you would like to help this family, you can donate through their gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/rickerstrong.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Man dies in rollover crash


Jason Groenke, of Kent City, died in a rollover crash Sunday. Photo from his gofundme page.

Jason Groenke, of Kent City, died in a rollover crash Sunday. Photo from his gofundme page.

A 31-year-old Kent City man died Sunday when he crashed his vehicle on 18 Mile Road in Tyrone Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a passing motorist reported at 1:31 a.m. that a vehicle had rolled over and ejected the driver. The investigation found that Jason Groenke, 31, was  headed east in the 3600 block of 18 Mile Road, in Tyrone Township, when he lost control of the vehicle and ran off the roadway. The vehicle then overturned and he was ejected. Police said he was not wearing a seatbelt. Rescue attempts were unsuccessful at the scene.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.

His family has set up a gofundme page to help pay for his cremation and a headstone. You can visit the page at https://www.gofundme.com/e7-funeral-cost-for-jason-groenke.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Grant woman dies in crash


Christina Perales, 35, died in two-vehicle crash last weekend. Photo from the gofundme page set up to provide food, clothing and Christmas for her boys.

Christina Perales, 35, died in two-vehicle crash last weekend. Photo from the gofundme page set up to provide food, clothing and Christmas for her boys.

A 35-year-old Grant woman died last weekend when the car she was driving collided with a pickup truck.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred about 12:05 p.m. on Saturday, December 17 in Alpine Township.

The investigation showed that a 2015 Ford F150 pickup truck was headed westbound on 6 Mile Rd NW, and a 2002 Chevy Malibu was headed south on Baumhoff when they crashed. Police said it was undetermined if the Grant woman, the driver of the Chevy Malibu, had rolled through the stop sign, or made a complete stop and then pulled out into the intersection. The pickup truck had the right of way.

The driver of the Malibu, Christina Lenora Perales, 35, of Grant, died at the scene. The front seat passenger, Brent Thomas Aishe, 39, of Grant was taken to Spectrum Butterworth with serious injuries, including a broken left hip, cranial bleed, and abrasions on his elbow. One of the back seat passengers, Melinda Marie Lynch, 20, of Fremont was taken to Butterworth laceration to her forehead. The other back seat passenger, Dylan Rogers, 17, of Grant, was taken to Butterworth with a cranial bleed.

There were three occupants in the pickup truck, all from Essexville, Mich. The driver, Brent Joseph Raap, 45, was not injured. Passenger Benjamin Matthew Raap, 15, sustained a minor injury and was taken to the hospital by private transport, where he was treated and released. The third passenger, Judith Louis Mcelhinny-Raap, 45, was not injured.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.

Assisting at the scene was the Walker Police Department, Alpine Fire Department, Walker Fire Department, Aeromed, LIFE, Rockford, and AMR ambulance services.

The crash is still under investigation.

Christina was a single mom, and there is a gofundme page set up to help with food, clothes, and Christmas for her three boys. Go to https://www.gofundme.com/please-help-these-boys.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Sand Lake man killed in ATV accident


Tyler Francis Butler

Tyler Francis Butler

A Sand Lake area man died last weekend when he was thrown from his ATV while riding on Drummond Island in the Upper Peninsula.

The accident reportedly occurred shortly after midnight, on Friday, September 23. Tyler Francis Butler, 24, of Sand Lake, was riding his ATV on Lincoln Road, north of Johnswood Road, when it left the road and struck a tree.

Butler was thrown from the ATV and died of his injuries at the scene.

Police are still investigating the accident, and believe that alcohol and speed were factors in the crash.

According to his obituary, Butler proudly served his country as a Sgt. in the U.S. Marines for four years in Japan, Afghanistan and the Philippines. He leaves behind his wife, Mica and their 6-month-old daughter, Athena. A gofundme page has been set up to help the family with expenses. You can visit it and donate at  https://www.gofundme.com/2qvfy5g.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Community shows outpouring of support for teen with cancer


 

Fundraiser Aug. 23 to help with treatments

Brison Ricker, 15, was on the Varsity soccer team at Cedar Springs High School last year, before being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Brison Ricker, 15, was on the Varsity soccer team at Cedar Springs High School last year, before being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

By Judy Reed

The greater Cedar Springs community and beyond has wrapped its arms around the family of a local teen with a rare brain tumor, and the alternative cancer treatment they are working so hard to help raise funds for is showing signs of working—something that conventional cancer treatment did not do. In fact, the latest MRI on 15-year-old Brison Ricker shows that the tumor has shrunk to 1/3 the size it was previously.

It’s definitely a miracle—especially when you find out that Brison’s parents—Brian and Kim Ricker, of Nelson Township, were told less than two months ago by their conventional oncologist to take Brison home and call in hospice because he didn’t have long to live.

Before symptoms began last fall, Brison was a happy, well-liked and athletic teen, who loved riding dirt bikes with his younger brother Preston, and playing soccer. According to Kim, Brison raced motocross and supercross, and came in second place in the state for the two classes he raced in. He also was on the Varsity soccer team as a freshman, and voted offensive player of the year.

His symptoms started around Thanksgiving time with dizziness. “He’s extremely active, so I told him to drink enough water, not to get dehydrated,” explained Kim. The symptoms continued and progressed to blurred vision and seeing double, so she made an appointment with their pediatrician after the first of the year. “They said it was an eye issue and sent us to an eye doctor, who prescribed him glasses. “We got those and they didn’t work,” said Kim. “I had a feeling they wouldn’t. I suspected it was something major.”

Kim asked the pediatrician to schedule an MRI to see what was going on, but he didn’t think it was anything major. “I had to fight with him about it. I finally said I’m taking him to the ER to get an MRI then, and he said o.k.” Brison had the MRI and they got the diagnosis on January 22: the MRI showed a rare and deadly childhood brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine glioma (DIPG), which is nearly always fatal and lacks an effective treatment, according to Stanford University.

According to a news article from Stanford’s medicine news, DIPG affects 200-400 school-aged children in the United States each year and has a five-year survival rate of less than 1 percent; half of patients die within nine months of diagnosis. Radiation gives only a temporary reprieve from the tumor’s growth. In addition, it is inoperable. It grows through the brain stem, where breathing and heartbeat are controlled, “with the healthy and diseased cells tangled like two colors of wool knitted together,” said Michelle Monje, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurology at Stanford.

Brison Ricker (seated) with Dad (Brian), brother Preston, and Mom (Kim).

Brison Ricker (seated) with Dad (Brian), brother Preston, and Mom (Kim).

The news of Brison’s tumor was devastating for the family. “There’s not words to describe how it felt. We were horrified. Our whole world was crashing down,” shared Kim. She said she also questioned God about it. But Brison’s faith and the support of family and friends helped keep them steady. “He has handled it like a champ. We get strength from him. He has a very strong faith, as do we. And, as soon as we found out, our room was filled with friends from church who came to pray. It helped our focus to be on God’s word and not what the doctors are telling us; to focus on God’s promises and not the diagnosis,” explained Kim.

A Gofundme page was set up for donations, and Team Brison (you can find them on Facebook) began putting together numerous fundraising events to help the family. And people began to pray.

Brison first underwent radiation, and did several alternative treatments at home to help fight the cancer, including eating a strict, healthy, organic diet. Kim said they wanted to go to the Burzynski clinic in Texas in March, when Brison’s radiation was done, because they offered an alternative treatment that had had some success with patients. But she said that the oncologist recommended against it, because he said he had seen people do that and waste their money.

The cost for the first month of treatment down there would be $30,000, and it would be a minimum of $17,000 per month after that. None of it would be covered by insurance. Not to mention the loss of income they would suffer. Faced with that and the fact that the oncologist recommended against it, they didn’t go.

But Brison continued to deteriorate. He lost 25 pounds, and his liver was under stress. The steroids he was on for inflammation broke down his muscle and skin and contributed to fatigue. By the end of April, he needed help to stand, sit, and walk. And his tumor had grown 6mm bigger, and there was swelling in his brain. He continued on steroids and the alternative treatments he was receiving locally.

On June 18, Brison went to the ER because his symptoms were progressing, and had another MRI. The news was devastating—his tumor had doubled in size from just six weeks before and was spreading to other parts of his brain. “The doctors say there are no clinical trials available anywhere for him and there is nothing left that they can do for him, and sent us home to cherish the precious time we have together. They suggested that we call Hospice and said at the rate the tumor is growing they believe his time is very limited,” wrote Kim in a Gofundme update on June 19.
“We went home and called the Burzynski Clinic right away,” said Kim. She researched a few other clinics, but the Burzynksi Clinic was the only one that had any success with treating that type of tumor. And Kim was able to talk with the mother of a 14-year-old that had been treated there, which helped them make their decision. “We prayed about it and felt this is where God was leading us,” she wrote. Additional gene-targeting meds were going to add another $40,000 to the cost, and they didn’t know how they were going to be able to keep the treatments going, but they trusted God and went.

They originally thought they would be there a month, but came back a bit sooner. Some additional new meds the clinic wanted to start him on wouldn’t have been covered there, but the oncologist here agreed to work with them and offered to give them to Brison here, which meant they would be covered by insurance. They still, however, have thousands and thousands of dollars in expenses to be met for other meds.

On Thursday, August 8, they received some amazing news: not only was the tumor one-third the size it was, but it was dying from the inside out. His oncologist here was surprised. “He said he’d never seen any results like this, that basically we were in a gray area of medicine from a regular oncologist’s point of view, because they hadn’t seen this combination of treatments before,” said Kim.

She also spoke with Dr. Burzynski this week, and he wants to continue with the treatment and get an MRI in four weeks. “There is some controversy between the doctors on how treatment will go moving forward but we’ll work it out,” she said. “The main thing is Brison had great results. He is tired and worn, but holding steady. Steady is good. If he was not on this treatment, he would not be with us.”

Kim said that the family has been overwhelmed with the support that they have received, even from people they don’t know. Brison is in awe of it all, especially the little notes or gifts he gets from people. She hopes people will continue to show Brison how much they care about him. “He thinks those gifts and notes are pretty awesome,” she said.

One of the ways their faith in God has helped them through this, is to see how it has affected other people. “A ton of people have said how our faith has strengthened them. It’s amazing to see how through all this we are touching and encouraging people and making their faith stronger,” remarked Kim.

While Brison received good news about his tumor, he is not out of the woods and will need more treatment, which means continuing expenses for the family, and they can only continue the treatments with your help. Another fundraiser has been set for August 23 at Cedar Springs High School at 6:30 p.m. All proceeds will go to benefit Brison. Speakers are Tracey Casey-Arnold, founder/CEO of W.I.T. Wellness Consulting, founder of WIT Ministry and Whatever it Takes Radio Network; and Matt Lehr, former NFL football player, NPC Super Heavy Weight and GASP athlete, and NPC Texas Judge. Arnold will speak about using faith to help win in life; Lehr will speak about overcoming adversities. Tickets are $25 each, with the option to donate more. They ask that you please purchase tickets ahead of time at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/brison-ricker-fundraiser-event-with-tracey-arnold-and-matt-lehr-tickets-26959235800. Or go to eventbrite.com and search for Brison Ricker.

For info on this and other fundraisers for Brison, search for the Team Brison page on Facebook.

To donate directly to Brison, visit https://www.gofundme.com/brisonricker or send a check to Brison Ricker, 5370 Dio Dr., Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Sparta man dies after ORV accident


Derek Bellows died following an ORV accident Christmas eve morning. Photo from gofundme page.

Derek Bellows died following an ORV accident Christmas eve morning. Photo from gofundme page.

A Sparta man who died following a tragic ORV accident early Christmas eve morning has given the gift of life to others.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Derek Bellows, 23, of Sparta, was driving a 2000 Yamaha quad westbound on 14 Mile Road NW, west of Phelps Avenue NW, in Sparta Township, when he hit a tree that had fallen across the road. He was thrown from the quad and found lying in the roadway. He was not wearing a helmet, and suffered a severe head injury.

Police believe the accident occurred between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. He was discovered about 6:25 a.m. It was unknown whether alcohol or excessive speed was involved.

Derek was transported to the hospital, where he was put on a ventilator. He died on December 26.

According to a gofundme page set up in his memory, Derek’s organs were donated to save the lives of several people. It was reportedly close to Derek’s  heart, because his grandfather received a new heart eight  years ago.

According to the gofundme page, “Derek was an amazing young man and full of life. He loved the outdoors, riding horses, snowmobiles, four-wheelers or whatever he could drive fast.  He also had a huge heart for people and animals. Derek loved horses and especially his dog.”

His funeral will be January 2, at 1 p.m. at Ballard Church of Christ. To make a memorial contribution, visit the gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/9ygj28qk. Contributions will benefit the Wounded Warrior project.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Woman discovered dead in Spencer Township


 

The woman found dead in Spencer Township the day after Christmas with two young children nearby is a heartbreaking example of what postpartum depression can do to a young mother.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a caller reported they were walking a dog on a trail in the woods east of Lincoln Lake and 18 Mile Road shortly before 10:30 a.m. December 26, when they came upon a car parked back there with the engine running.

Deputies discovered a woman lying on the ground, with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Her three-year-old daughter was lying partially on top of her. The girl was conscious and alert but suffering from hypothermia. The woman’s 5-month-old son was in a car seat in the car.

AeroMed was called to the scene and transported the children to Spectrum DeVos Children’s Hospital. A bullet fragment was discovered in the three-year-old girl’s head, and she was rushed into surgery, where they removed it.

Police said the woman was reportedly suffering from postpartum depression. Based on the investigation, they believe that the wound to the three-year-old’s head may have been an unintended and accidental consequence of the gunshot that killed the mother.

The woman, identified as Sasha Hettich, 27, went missing on Christmas Day. She lived with her husband and children in Grand Rapids. A gofundme page has been set up for the family to help with household expenses, childcare expenses, and funeral costs. Visit https://www.gofundme.com/sashagr.

If you or a loved one suffers from postpartum depression, there are services available in Kent County. You can call Pine Rest’s pregnancy and postpartum hopeline at 844-MOM-HOPE (844.666.4673); Postpartum Support International at 1.800.944.4773; Spectrum Health Postpartum Emotional Support Program at 616.391.1771; and Network 180 at 800.749.7720. In an emergency call 911.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Cedar Springs grad shot and killed


Rebecca Sisk Diaz was shot and killed Sunday, November 8. Her husband, Humberto Diaz, has been charged in her death.

Rebecca Sisk Diaz was shot and killed Sunday, November 8. Her husband, Humberto Diaz, has been charged in her death.

Husband charged in her death

Humberto Diaz

Humberto Diaz

The husband of a 2007 Cedar Springs graduate has been charged with first-degree murder in her death and is being held without bond in the Oklahoma County jail in Oklahoma City.

Rebecca Sisk Diaz, 26, was shot and killed on Sunday, November 8, about 5:48 p.m. in the far southeast part of Oklahoma City, where she lived with her husband, Humberto Diaz, 30. Oklahoma City police officers and Oklahoma County Sheriff deputies responded to a 911 call, reportedly from the husband, saying he had shot his wife.

Police found her dead in their home.

According to an interview that Rebecca’s mother, Debra Sisk, gave to News9 in Oklahoma, she had spoken with her daughter earlier that afternoon, and Rebecca reportedly told her mother that she had to leave her husband, because of his abuse.

Neighbors later reportedly heard the couple arguing.

According to the News9 article, Rebecca also has four children that were removed from the home in August due to Humberto Diaz waving a gun around and making threats.

Rebecca’s family and friends created a gofundme page to raise money to bring her back home to Michigan to be buried. Visitation will be Saturday, November 21, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 at Arsulowicz Brothers East Mortuary, 937 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, with a service to follow at 2 p.m.

To see how you can help Rebecca’s family, visit her gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/ex9hhndg.

Posted in NewsComments (0)


advert
Advertising Rates Brochure
Kent Theatre

Get the Cedar Springs Post in your mailbox for only $35.00 a year!