BEND AREA — A Benefit Birthday Bash will be held Saturday in Mason for a New Haven woman who was paralyzed in an accident on Oct. 1, 2021.
The event will benefit Lauren MacKenzie “Kenzie” Gabritsch, 27, and will be held at the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W./Lottie Jenks Memorial Park, located at 100 Front Street.
Set for 5-9 p.m., the benefit is open to all ages. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. All donations will go to offset Kenzie’s medical expenses.
The event will feature live music, food, raffle prizes, inflatables, and karaoke. Churches have donated hot dogs and drinks, which will be offered beginning at 5 p.m., and continue while supplies last. At 6 p.m., the band Next Level will take the stage. Other events will be ongoing.
Kenzie was instantly paralyzed from the neck down in the October car accident, according to a family member. She underwent four surgeries for her broken neck, and doctors dissected C5 and C6, and fused C3-C7 of her spine. The doctors told the family she would be on a ventilator and feeding tube for the remainder of her life.
She defied the odds, however, and fought her way off both the ventilator and feeding tube, though she remains a C4 quadriplegic. Kenzie began inpatient therapy at Dodd Hall in Columbus and worked her way to outpatient therapy three times a week at the Martha Morehouse Outpatient Rehabilitation in Columbus. She is making progress and has gained some movement.
An alumnus of Wahama High School, Kenzie was a nurse assistant prior to the accident. She worked at Elder Care in Ripley and Overbrook Rehabilitation in Middleport, Ohio.
Organizers are requesting that the public join them in rallying together for a fun evening to show support and let Kenzie know she is not alone in the fight. Her story can be followed on Facebook at “KenziesConquest.” A “Go Fund Me” page is also set up on her behalf.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at [email protected]