Community Raises Funds for Eclectic Boy with Rare Syndrome
The Elmore County community came together Sunday afternoon to raise money for one of its own.
7-year-old Bentley Lovejoy was diagnosed with a rare syndrome last year and needs treatments in Minnesota.
“It’s hard, really hard. Mom’s supposed to make it better,” Bentley’s mother Ashley Dugan said.
To help ease the cost of upcoming medical procedures, the community held a benefit at the Eclectic Warehouse.
“It’s a tremendous amount of love and it’s my thing, when all of God’s children get together, what a time we can have,” local minister David Butler said.
“Other people have brought a pony dressed up as a unicorn and goats dressed in tuxedos,” owner of the Warehouse Aubrey Hornsby said.
In October 2019, Bentley was diagnosed with SCN1B, a brain mutation. He was also diagnosed with Brugada Syndrome, which can lead to cardiac arrest.
Dugan explained that both are rare.
“The way they explained it to me, it’s like one in fifty thousand people get it. There’s two reported in the United States,” Dugan said.
Doctors at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham referred the family to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
Because Bentley’s current insurance can’t transfer, community members held a singing, raffel, and auction to help the costs of Bentley’s appointment, which are m0re than $27,000.
“He has fifteen appointments with doctors and clinical visits and has two surgeries scheduled and 6 procedures,” Dugan said.
More than 100 people were at the benefit. Dugan said she was grateful for that amount of support.
“It means a lot, you know, for just the community that we don’t even know to donate stuff to be raffled off or just to come out and support us in any way, to show your face, and even if it’s a dollar, it means so much to us,” Dugan said.
The family will leave out on January 12th. Bentley’s procedures begin January 14th. Prior to the benefit, about $6,000 had been raised.
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