Members of the local Elks Lodge No. 969 met on Monday afternoon with the family of 16-year-old Nevaeh Herrera to give the family a check for $5,000. The money will go toward the purchase of a specialized wheelchair-accessible van for Nevaeh, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy occurs at, during or shortly after birth when a brain injury occurs. There is no known cure. Its symptoms, throughout the life of the child and later on as an adult, include various levels of seizures, spasms, visual and hearing impairments, and behavioral problems.
According to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation, cerebral palsy is not always apparent at birth, but the parents and pediatricians may see belated development in the child. The disorder is the most common physical disability in childhood. According to the foundation’s research, one in 323 American babies is diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
The New Mexico State Elks Lodge charity of choice is supporting families with children who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and a special fund pools donations from the lodges in New Mexico.
Local chairman Rick Callaway said that usually, at least $8 per Roswell Elks Lodge member goes to the cerebral palsy fund each year. This year, he said the Roswell lodge is able to support the cause with $12 per member.
“We have expanded this year to include traumatic brain injuries,” he said. “It is surprising how many people have family members who suffer. We want to get the word out.”
To be considered to receive monetary help, an application has to be filled out. For more information, call Callaway at 575-840-8950, Richard Anglade at 575-637-0412 or the Elks Lodge at 575-622-1560.
Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at email@example.com.