Organizers are gearing up for a benefit for a young child who is in the Freeman NICU in Joplin.

Organizers are gearing up for a benefit for a young child who is in the Freeman NICU in Joplin.

The benefit is for Kayden W. Cook and will be held from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, at the Neosho VFW Post 4142 on Waldo Hatler Dr. The event is open to the public.

“He was born at 26 weeks, weighed 2 lbs. 3 oz. when he was born,” said Jo Bohannan, organizer of the event. “He is now up to 3 lbs. 7 oz., he is doing pretty good. He still has a long ways to go, but everything is looking pretty good right now, the hole in his heart has closed up. He will probably be in there until April.”

The benefit will include a silent auction, bake auction, a 50/50 drawing and will be serving lunch. Lunch will consist of chili, chili dogs, hot dogs and potato soup, for a cost.

Kayden’s parents are John and Kayla Cook, who also had a fire at their home recently.

“They had a house fire on Feb. 10, they didn’t lose everything, but they lost all of the baby stuff,” she said. “Of course because of smoke, so with Kayden being the way that he is, they won’t be able to use any of that. And they also lost a twin-size bed that they had for John’s son. They did find another house and they just got moved in it this weekend. But they are still needing baby stuff and stuff for the other little boy.”

Bohannan said she wanted to do something to help the family because she knows them.

“John was at my house a lot when he was a kid growing up,” she said. “And it was just like, I ran into him on and off through the years. But I ran into him [when] they were pregnant and I ran into him a couple of months later, he told me they had the baby and what was going on. It was just like it was fate, it was meant to be. They come over here going over stuff for the benefit. They are a very appreciative couple. John is a good kid.”

The items for the silent auction include, but are not limited to, gift certificates to restaurants, gift certificates to beauty salons, oil changes and other items.

Bohannan said there is still time to donate items for this event.

“I am very pleased with our community, because it helps, it stands behind our local people and the businesses have been very, very good,” she said.

The money raised through this benefit will help the family with medical expenses that are not covered. According to Bohannan, it also “will help them to basically get into this house and will also be used for gas going back and forth to the hospital and to help replace Kayden’s clothes of course and anything else that Kayden needs.”
She added the family is coping so far.

“Their faith in God is what has got them this far,” Bohannon said. “And the thing that got me the most was, they had a plaque over the baby’s room, a long piece of board and John showed it to me and on the back of it, it was just charred black. But on the front, it wasn’t touched and it said, ‘When times get hard, kneel and pray.’ That was just amazing to me and like he said, wherever they will go, that plaque is going with them.”

For more information, please call Bohannan at 455-0658.