Shayne Hanson, 6, was born with paralyzed vocal chords and multiple airway and breathing difficulties. He breathes through a tracheostomy tube and feeds mainly from a tube connected to his stomach. He appears to be aspirating everything, including his own saliva and secretions, which means he cannot protect his own airway.
His feeding tube protects him from getting food, water, even saliva from entering his lungs, said Shayne's father, Steve. Shayne is always fighting pneumonia and other respiratory problems. He can speak, but with a very weak voice.
To offset the Hansons' medical and travel expenses, the MOMS Club of Brentwood East is hosting a Bunco fundraiser for Shayne tonight, April 4, at 7 p.m. at Deer Ridge Golf Course, 801 Foothill Drive in Brentwood. Tickets are $25.
Shayne might have found his voice and is working on strengthening it, but he faces other developmental delays that he will continue to work on. He has lived in the Oakland Children's Hospital for many months when the pediatric reconstruction experts referred Shayne to the Children's Hospital of the University of Cincinnati, where he is seen by a specialized aero-digestive medical team.
The Hansons shuttle back and forth from Brentwood to Cincinnati every three to five months. We have burned every frequent-flier mileage and travel points we have, said Steve. But that's the place we need to be for Shayne's care.
Sarah Jondahl, mother of two, heads the fundraiser committee along with moms Jen Rountree, Blythe Lind, Katie Stopczynski, Alyssa Madden, Dana Cooper, Beth Kosar and Heather Perrin.
I teach with Shayne's mom, Stacey, at Loma Vista Elementary, said Jondahl. I heard about her family situation and I approached the MOMS Club, who were just eager to help out in line with our goal to support moms and help out people in the community. And the support just snowballed.
Brentwood is such a small community and we still have many areas that need our attention. I want to be an example to my children of how to give back to others as a member of the community, said Jondahl. We have to lend a helping hand whenever we can, and that doesn't necessarily mean monetary.
According to Steve, Anytime you have kids with medical issues, he becomes the center of your family, like Shayne is. We have to deal with work, travel, in-home therapy, in-home teaching. There are always financial struggles in trying to get the right care. There are also struggles on the marital relationship. But the bottom line is: You just do it. That's what you do.
Steve is humbled by the amount of support the family has received from the community, family and friends. His in-laws take care of the other children: Skyler, 11, and Shaylee, 7.
We give continued thanks for your prayers, Steve said. We are so grateful to those of you who've sent us notes of encouragement and support. This journey continues to amaze us and amaze the doctors, too!
All proceeds from the Bunco fundraiser go to the Hanson family. Additional donations should be sent to MOMS Club of Brentwood East, P.O. Box 262, Brentwood, CA 94513. For more information, call 925-628-7949.