A family that has served children with and without disabilities in Butte County for nearly 2 decades now needs some help of their own from the community. Briana Beaver, 24, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby, and for the past 5 months she has been dealing with severe pain which has caused her body to reject food and vital nutrients. In June, Briana dropped down to 79 pounds and doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with her, until a neurologist in San Franciso was able to determine that the problem was in her brain.
Briana’s mother Faelin Klein says, “The doctor pulled me out of the room the first day he saw her and pretty much told me that she's going to die in a couple days if we don’t work fast."
Briana fought back and has since made good progress with her treatment. Many people know Briana and her mom for founding The Sunshine Connection about 17 years ago to help provide a safe haven for kids with and without disabilities. The non-profit gave children the chance to participate in activities such as wheelchair sports, horseback riding, and sailing. The organization has been inactive though for the past year due to a lack of funding. When people familiar with Briana and the group heard that her insurance wouldn't cover some of her medical costs, they stepped in.
Bob Irvine, who’s helping organize a fundraiser for Briana, says, "They've done a great thing for the community over the years. They're totally selfless, and Briana's in a tough spot. Their backs are against the wall and this is just something we have to do. She's got a lot more to give so we wanna do everything we can for her."
A benefit dinner is being held Friday for Briana at the Arc Pavilion. It kicks off with social hour at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and live entertainment. Tickets are being sold at the Lighthouse Candy Store in downtown Oroville. If you aren't able to attend but still want to help out, a link with more information is posted under Newslinks.
Briana still has a long road ahead, and is expected to need at least another year of treatment to allow her brain to stabilize.