[The Brazil Times nameplate] Overcast ~ 53°F  
High: 58°F ~ Low: 47°F
Monday, May 2, 2016

Community helping to raise funds for little boy

Friday, November 16, 2007

A chili dinner and silent auction is being held to benefit Pierson DeHart, who was born with the neurological disease hydranencephaly. Courtesy Photo.
On Dec. 1, members of the community will rally around a little boy who is fighting for a chance to live a better life.

Pierson DeHart was born on July 30, 2007 to Chris and Melissa DeHart. Pierson had a stroke while in-vitro, and developed the disease hydranencephaly.

Hydranencephaly occurs when a traumatic experience cuts off blood supply to the developing brain, and sections of the brain are replaced with Cerebral Spinal Fluid.

The diagnosis can take place while in the womb or take as long as a few months to show signs.

Pierson has gone through two surgeries and two transfusions already to deal with the hydranencephaly, and he and his parents make routine trips to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

Because of Pierson's special needs, the DeHarts are having difficulty keeping up with incoming bills.

To assist with the medical bills and necessities for Pierson, Michelle Tracy and Emily Goff are putting on a Chili Supper and Silent Auction to raise funds.

The supper will be held at North Clay Middle School on Dec. 1, from 4-7 p.m. The cost for adults is $7 per person, and $5 for children age 12 and younger.

Tracy grew up with Melissa, and attended high school at Northview with both of the DeHarts.

Tracy and Goff began to put the fundraiser together as a way to help the DeHarts the best way they could.

"Obviously there is no way to take away the situation," Tracy said.

After Pierson's birth, Tracy said she felt sad that such a challenge was given to "such a faithful family."

Pierson is beginning to smile and coo, which is sometimes not seen in children with hydranencephaly. He is also trying to control his head movements.

He tends to be irritable and fussy, but Melissa said bits of his personality are starting to come through.

Although he is not able to do many things a healthy three-month-old would do, Pierson continues to have good check ups with the doctors.

Melissa said, "We are hoping and praying he continues to exceed the doctors' expectations."

The DeHarts have touched many people in the Wabash area, according to Tracy.

When Melissa asks how she can repay the volunteers, Tracy tells her "it's what friends do."

Tracy said she and Goff have received a big response from local businesses and other Northview grads.

People who graduated with the DeHarts have involved their businesses in Terre Haute, Evansville and Indianapolis.

Donations to the silent auction include golf course and YMCA passes, gift cards to local businesses, signed sports memorabilia and even homemade pies.

"We're just overwhelmed by the support we're getting," Melissa said, adding the family is planning on attending the event.

Tracy also said donations for the meal has been extremely helpful.

Originally, she and other organizers were going to pitch in for the ingredients for the meal, but Gordon Food Services in Terre Haute donated many of the needed items, and Baesler's Market in Terre Haute donated money to purchase the hamburger.

The owners of Goodies Galore were going to make the chili, but after Clay Community Schools food service workers Becky Profit and Becky Johnson volunteered to cook, the people at Goodies decided to provide sandwiches and broccoli cheese soup as chili alternatives.

Tracy said the most rewarding part of putting the event together is, "seeing the way our community has come together to help a local family."

"We're just your average family going through life," Melissa said.

Carry out and desert will be available at the Chili Supper.

Free will donations will be accepted on Dec. 1.

For those who cannot attend but would like to donate, an account has been opened for the DeHarts at the Brazil branch of Terre Haute Savings Bank.

THSB started the account with a $100 donation from the bank.

"Without our faith, we would not be able to get through this we have hope," Melissa said.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: