Nov. 16 benefit set for Landen Spry

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 10, 2013

As 14-month-old Landen Spry recuperates from his latest surgery a local church will host a fundraiser for the Mocksville family to help offset their medical and travel related costs.
Landen was born with a rare condition called VACTERL association, which is marked by numerous birth defects that can affect the kidneys, present itself in limb abnormalities, heart defects and other issues. VACTERL is an acronym that stands for the seven conditions that may exist.
He remains at Children’s Hospital in Boston with his parents, Jolene and Stacy Spry.
Christ United Methodist Church, 3401 Mooresville Road, Salisbury, will host the benefit beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The family has insurance, but the fundraiser with assist with any uncovered medical expenses, travel and lodging while the family stays in Boston.
The fundraiser will be a shag dance event where a $10 ticket will include admission and a barbecue chicken dinner plate.
Heather Ward, a longtime friend of Jolene Spry, said it’s not required that everyone dance. She said there are other activities at the event including a raffle and silent auction.
“If you don’t dance, please come hear the music, eat the food and participate in the auction,” Ward said.
Dana Grubb will DJ during the event. The plates include barbecue chicken or hot dogs, side dishes, desserts and drinks.
The items to be raffled include a 50-inch television, fully decorated pre-lit Christmas tree, an adult Fuji bicycle and a gift basket filled with gift cards from local restaurants.
Ward said all of the items were donated by local businesses and individuals.
Raffle tickets are $2 each or six for $10.
The silent auction items will include local artwork, gift cards from several downtown Salisbury businesses and holiday-themed gift baskets.
While the Sprys expect to return home just before Thanksgiving, they won’t be home in time to attend the fundraiser.
Landen just had a major surgery on Oct. 2, Jolene said, where doctors took part of his small intestine and created an esophagus.
“He is the youngest they’ve done this surgery on,” she said.
Doctors gave Jolene and Stacy good news on Friday, saying everything they’d done with the surgery “looks good.”
Jolene said she’s a little anxious because they’ve been sort of protected while at the hospital, but Landen is doing remarkably well.
He’s even sitting up on his own and is more alert. He’s discovered her eyelashes, which he reaches out to touch.
Landen’s next surgery will be to correct his imperforate anus, which essentially will create an opening where there was none at birth. Doctors will also reverse his colostomy. He’ll also have repairs to his tethered spinal cord.
He’s also had prior surgery on his esophagus and trachea as well as open heart surgery to repair the hole in his heart.
“Heather and I have been friends since 1998 and she and her husband introduced Stacy and I,” Jolene said.
She said Ward and her husband are “very important people in our lives.”
Jolene said she and her husband are overwhelmed with support from the community, friends and family.
Jolene took leave from her job and says the fundraiser will help with medical bills.
“When we travel, for housing and expenses that come with being out of town also anything that occurs that might not be covered by insurance,” she said.
She said the family is getting close to reaching their insurance cap.
“People have gone above and beyond and it’s overwhelming,” she said.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.