ANNA — Rozlyn “Roz” Abbott is a local eight-year-old who was diagnosed with Rasmussen Encephalitis after having many intense seizures when she was two years old. Only 500 people in the world have this disorder. She had to have a hemispherectomy (separation of half the brain) five years ago, which left her with some deficiency on the left side.
Her mother, Anne Abbott, helps Roz into the family’s 2006 Trailblazer to go to therapies and hospital visits. One day a neighbor, Andy Holthaus, saw Anne struggling to get Roz in the van and notified CHIVE Charities of Roz’s story and needs.
“CHIVE Charities fills the gaps where others fall short by providing life-changing items to veterans, first responders, individuals with rare diseases and underfunded education initiatives. In short, we exist to help the underdogs in need of financial support and public awareness,” said Brian Mercedes, executive director of CHIVE Charities.
John Resig, and a delegation from CHIVE showed up to meet Roz and see her needs for themselves. Upon talking to her, Resig found that Roz knew exactly what she wanted, a grey Honda Odyssey.
“She said a grey because our current vehicle is grey, and she doesn’t want to change. She said Honda Odyssey because it would give her room to move around and be more independent,” said Abbott.
CHIVE sent some gifts with Resig. They sent a touchscreen computer, security cameras to keep an eye on Roz when she is outside, and a generator. Roz must use a CPAP machine when she sleeps because she stops breathing around 100 times a night. The generator will keep her breathing if the electricity goes off.
“Roz embodies what our community of donors and supporters is all about – paying it forward and trying to make the world just 10 percent happier. Her condition is incredibly rare, and her story is one we knew we needed to use our megaphone, the CHIVE platform and community, to tell. We knew her positive attitude, perseverance and giving nature would become infectious with our community and inspire millions,” said Mercedes.
CHIVE started a flash campaign on GoFundMe.
CHIVE raised $37,000 in only a few hours. STRATACACHE, a digital signage group from Dayton, matched $30,000. So far, $41,580 has been raised in two days.
“We had been in contact with CHIVE since November, so we knew to expect the things they brought. It was a shot in the dark if we would get a new van. They started the flash campaign, which they don’t do very often. They hit the target in no time,” said Abbott.
The fund is open for about a month more and extra money raised will go to adaptations to the van which will add to Roz’s ability to be independent. Money will also go to adaptations to make her home safer for her.
“I am so grateful. The support has been overwhelming,” said Abbott.
Anyone wishing to donate to the fund can do so at www.gofundme.com/RideForRoz.
Visit https://chivecharities.org/story/rozlyn to see her story on CHIVE Charities website.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.