Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

January 16, 2013

Rescheduled benefit for area toddler grows bigger and better despite delay

MT SELMAN — Delays on a fundraiser meant to help an area toddler born with rare genetic disorders has only made the benefit barrel race bigger and better.

“Run for Hope” opens with a 10 a.m. exhibition Saturday at the Tyler Saddle Club Arena, an indoor facility located on FM 855, about three miles from the U.S. Hwy. 69 intersection south of Bullard.

A silent auction also has been added, and features a wide variety of items, including Western art, paintings, children's bikes, gift certificates for spa and salon services and clothing, said Tammy Wolven, whose two-year-old daughter Tiffany has inspired the local community to come together in support

Also, the Cowboy Church will hold a brief church service at noon, followed by contest events at 12:30 p.m.

Cost for the exhibition is $5 per run or $13 for all three events, while the contests are $30 open, $20 for youths.

The fee for poles is $20 open and $15 youth.

In addition, a one-time $5 area fee will be charged per rider.

First place awards will be given for each division in the pole classes, Wolven said.

Proceeds will be used toward medical expenses and travel incurred in the care of Tiffany, who was born premature Nov. 27, 2010, at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston and returns there often for follow-up visits.

Because her skull didn't form properly during gestation, a portion of her brain and spinal fluid protruded through the hole, forming a skin-covered cyst on the back of her head that measured 4- by 2-inches at the base of her skull.

The tyke also was diagnosed with Arnold Chari III malformations, which affects the cerebellum in the infant's brain and affects balance, and Meckle Grubber Syndrome, a rare, fatal, genetic disease that causes cysts to form on the kidneys and lungs; cerebral ventriculomegaly, or an enlargement of the lateral brain ventricles; tethered cord, which causes tissue to form on the spinal cord, limiting movement; an elongated spine, and a small hole in her heart where the third ventricle did not form properly.

She also has a severe acid reflux disorder, which causes seizures, her mother said.

In her young life, Tiffany has undergone eight surgeries on her head and stomach, the most recent to insert a feeding tube in her stomach and intestine.

An account has been set up under the name Tiffany Wolven at Austin Bank for anyone wishing to make a donation to the the family help with her care and the family's travel expenses.

Interested participants in Saturday's barrel race event have through 8 p.m. Thursday to register by phone or email, Wolven said.

Contact her at 903-952-5391 or 903-707-39

Or email Wolven at txnbarrelracer@yahoo.com, or Wolf, sscanchaser@hotmail.com.

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