A benefit for Braidon Lantz, a 6-year-old Neosho resident who was diagnosed with two tick borne illnesses, will be held on Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Splitlog Baptist Church.

The event includes a dinner, silent and live auction and begins at 3 p.m. The dinner begins at 5 p.m.

“We are raffling a La-Z-Boy chair, a fire pit and a fishing pole,” said Jana Cravens, grandmother of Braidon. “We also have numerous items to auction — probably a silent auction — just various merchandise from local merchants out of Neosho, Joplin, Anderson. We are serving a Frito pie dinner, or chili dog and chips. We are having kids games and adults games, also a photo booth.”

Cost of the dinner is $5 for adults, $2.50 for children.

In May, Braidon was diagnosed with the two tick borne diseases: Ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis.

“He had one tick on his head back in May and [it] produced flu-like symptoms,” she said. “He basically quit walking, he couldn’t walk. They finally diagnosed him and he had a reaction to the medication that they were treating him with. It just went into fluid around his brain, his optic nerves, he developed viral meningitis from that, and horrible, horrible migraines and then he went into pancreatitis. He is still battling with that. And from that, his endocrine glands quit working and he has developed Addison’s disease and he will be on hormone replacement treatment for the rest of his life.”

Proceeds from this benefit will go back to the family for medical help and travel expenses. The money will also help the family with the day-to-day expenses.

“The baby is covered by Medicaid, but [this is for] the trips back and forth, for hospital stays, stuff like that,” Cravens said. “We are simply trying to help his parents, Brandon and Rebecca, keep their home and take care of their other two children. His father, Brandon, was off for the past six weeks with emergency surgery, he has been cleared and he actually got to go back to work. So they had six to eight weeks with no income coming in.”

Braidon is home now, but every two weeks, they have to take him up to the Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City for treatment and ongoing blood work.

“It is just continuous lab work,” Cravens said. “Sometimes three times a week.”

Overall, Braidon is doing better.

“He is becoming more active and walking better,” she said. “He still suffers with this pancreatitis, he is on a low-fat diet, he can’t consume any fat, and he is on probably seven medications, to make sure that the other glands work properly. He has to have medication to retain fluids and sodium and then of course antibodies.”
The organizers are still accepting donations. Raffle tickets of the fire pit or barbecue grill or fishing equipment are $1 each or six for $5, 12 for $10 or 25 for $20.

For more information, contact Cravens at 355-3254 or Tami Manwiller at 364-5144.

Cravens said they are pleased with the turnout of support from the community.

“The community, friends and neighbors have been fantastic,” she said. “The prayers, there has been so many prayers for him. We know, as Christians, that is what has saved him. They said that 90 percent of people with this ehrlichiosis do not survive it.”