Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Dinner to benefit family of paralyzed woman

by MARGARET HARPER mharper@indianagazette.net on April 02, 2013 11:00 AM

Members of the community have organized a spaghetti dinner to benefit the family of Dove Bright, a local woman suffering from a rare paralysis, set for this month.

Bright suffers from the neurological disorder acute transverse myelitis. She was stricken with the illness, which essentially has left her paralyzed from the neck down, more than a year ago.

Currently a resident of Seneca Place care home in Verona, her family and the community are rallying to bring her home. At age 20, she is the youngest patient there.

Plans to modify the Grant Street home of her mother, Melanie Bright, are in the works. Just when Dove may arrive home depends on time, and money. Construction is expected to begin soon, and Melanie received some help with an accessibility grant through the Indiana County Office of Planning and Development.

Dove, on a recent weekend visit home, said she can’t wait to be back in her own house and closer to friends and family.

It’s hard for her to be in the nursing home without any peers, she said.

Formerly on a ventilator, Dove is now breathing on her own. Other recent developments include the return of some feeling in her limbs.

“I can tell I have legs and I have arms,” she said. “I can feel pain.”

Another development includes an ongoing application to acquire a service monkey from monkeyhelpers.org, a nonprofit organization that provides capuchin monkeys for in-home assistance of the disabled.

Dove joked that she will make “select appearances” at the dinner, which is Sunday, April 14, at St. Bernard of Clairvaux in White Township.

Three seatings will be available: 2 to 3:30 p.m.; 3:30 to 5 p.m.; and 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $9 for adults, $5 for children 10 and younger and free for children under 2.

Tickets are on sale at St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Indiana Church of the Brethren, and the Indiana Mall information office. Advance tickets are recommended, and tickets will also be sold at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.

All proceeds benefit the Dove Bright Care Fund at S&T Bank, 800 Philadelphia St., Indiana, PA 15701.

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