May 14, 2007

Benefit set for Montrose infant

Child was born with rare disease related to unpredictable bleeding

By Lynda Jensen

A benefit has been set for a Montrose infant who is suffering from a very rare disease that pertains to the malformation of her internal organs and blood vessels in her skin.

Allyson Benzer, 1-year-old daughter of Joshua and Laurie Benzer of Montrose, was born with an extremely rare medical condition called cutaneovisceral angiomatosis with thrombocytopenia, also known as CATs or CVAT.

She is one of a handful of cases identified worldwide.

A benefit has been set for Allyson Sunday May 20 from 11:30 am to 2:30 p.m. at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Buffalo, which is located four miles east of Buffalo on County Road 35.

Proceeds will help Allyson’s family with costs associated with her treatment.

The infant lives in Montrose with her parents, sister Sydney, 4, and twin sister Madelyn.

This condition involves a low platelet count and malformation of blood vessels on her skin as well as on internal organs.

Allyson has few surface malformations, but her stomach, intestinal tract, lungs and brain all have multiple blood vessel tumors that the doctors describe as unpredictable and as volatile as volcanoes at risk for hemorrhage.

Allyson has a history of catastrophic as well as more minor bleeds.

Steroid treatments, chemotherapy, and medication, although not resulting in a cure, have kept the disease from progressing.

Allyson has been undergoing treatment at the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis since her birth.

“Allyson is charting unknown waters,” commented her grandmother Bernis Benzer.

It is unclear whether the condition can be cured, but treatment will certainly continue well into her second year, she said.

Recently, Allyson has been referred to a vascular specialty clinic at the Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio for further evaluation.

To learn more about Allyson, visit her web site at www.caringbridge.org/visit/ally1.

Buffalo benefit set for Allyson May 20

A benefit has been set Sunday, May 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Buffalo, which is located four miles east of Buffalo on County Road 35.

Advance tickets ar available for the meal, which will include a pork chop, scalloped potatoes, baked beans, coleslaw and a roll, with bars for dessert. Ticket prices are $8 for one pork chop and $10 for two. Children 10 and under are $4.

Tickets may be purchased at the following businesses: Buffalo Books, Play it Again Sports, Morrie’s Ford Mercury of Buffalo, as well as from Immanuel Lutheran Church. Tickets will also be available the day of the event.

If you cannot attend the event, but would like to contribute to the fund, donations may be sent to the Allyson K Benzer Benefit Fund, Wells Fargo, 615 Highway 55 East, Buffalo MN 55313.

Thrivent Financial is providing supplemental funds.

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