SEILING - Friends and family of Bronsen Ake, along with the Seiling Masonic Lodge, will be hosting a benefit dinner to help cover medical costs incurred after Ake's recent diagnosis with multiple sclerosis.
The dinner, which will feature pork roast, beans, salad and desserts, is set for March 29 at 6 p.m. at the Seiling Community Center. The cost is by donation only.
Helping to organize the dinner is Ake's grandmother Cindy Tomberlin.
Tomberlin said her 20-year-old grandson was just diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the end of January.
"But he had been having problems for a while, we just didn't know what it was," she said.
The problems began "last summer (when) he thought he had a pinched nerve in his arm because he kept saying he had no feeling in the arm," she said.
Then just before Christmas, Tomberlin said Ake had a dizzy spell where he fell over and had to be taken to the emergency room.
"Just after Christmas his whole right side of his body went numb," she said. "They did an MRI and found that he had lesions on his brain."
According to the National MS Society website (nationalmssociety.org), multiple sclerosis is a disease "in which an abnormal response of the body's immune system is directed against the central nervous system." As the body's nerves are damaged, scar tissue is formed and the nerve impulses traveling through the body become distorted or interrupted, which can cause a variety of symptoms.
Since being diagnosed with MS, Tomberlin said that Ake "has been traveling back and forth to the hospital" after experiencing some complications from the disease.
However, she seemed hopeful that the treatment he has been receiving is working.
"They are trying to get it in remission and I think maybe they have, but now he's got some high dollar hospital bills even after insurance paid what it could," she said.
In an effort to help Ake and his parents Clint and Chandra Ake pay those bills, Tomberlin said the Seiling community is coming together to hold the benefit dinner.
In addition to the meal, she said the event will also include a live auction, in which a variety of items from a DeWalt shop saw to candles to homemade pies, will be sold. The auction will begin around 7 p.m., she said.
"If anybody would like to donate more items to the auction, it would be greatly appreciated," she said.
Tomberlin said one of Ake's relatives is making a handmade quilt that will be raffled off that evening as well.
For more information about the benefit dinner or to donate items to the auction or to make a financial contribution to the Ake family, contact Cindy Tomberlin at (580) 334-8496 or Katy Rachel at (580) 922-0585.
Tomberlin said she is also in the process of setting up a fund in her grandson's name at the First National Bank in Seiling.