Benefit for Mellencamp raises $21,000
Hundreds of lime green T-shirts bearing the inscription, "Miracle Girl," brightened the already cheerful atmosphere at the South Adams cafeteria on Saturday night, celebrating the recovery of local woman, Kaye Mellencamp, and her healing from a brain hemorrhage that occurred earlier this year.
At the time, physicians at Parkview North Hospital had told family members that their loved one had a one in 10 chance of survival. However, on a Sunday morning, with an attending nurse named Hope by her side, strange things began to happen that signaled a possible turn around. That moment was the beginning of a heralded recovery that has medical professionals using it as an example in hospitals around the state these days.
Incredibly, Kaye, tagged by family members and many friends as, "Miracle Girl," stood by the door greeting those attending her community-wide benefit on Saturday evening. By the time the fundraiser was over, at least $21,000 had been collected toward expenses resulting from her stay in the ICU at Parkview and family trips to Indianapolis and Fort Wayne to be by the side of their loved one.
"Wonderful and overwhelming," were the first two expressive words that came to Kaye's mind on Saturday evening as she looked at the huge community turnout on her behalf.
"I wouldn't be here without the prayers of these people," said Mellencamp. "I can't thank people enough for their prayers and support through all of this."
"She became known around the world because of Facebook," said her husband, Tony Mellencamp. "But this community, our home people, stood next to us. They said that she had less than a 10 percent chance less than a few months ago and here she is. Thank you very much, our home community.
"I'm overwhelmed, just like I was with the whole event, but it's so much better in this setting than it was the other when we were at the hospital," continued Mellencamp. "It's amazing, so many times I am approached by people who say, 'are you related to the woman that had that miracle?' The professor at a class at the Randalia Campus used her first scan at a class there. He said, 'look at this; it's once in a lifetime that anyone witnesses something like this.'"
Tony noted that Kaye has now recovered to the place where she can drive on her own and walk short distances without assistance.
"She's able to get on the computer and do QuickBooks," Mellencamp said. "She can do books again, but it's hard for her to multitask."
Tammy Bulmahn, who spearheaded the fundraiser, said that she was partly driven by her compassion for Kaye, a school friend, and the fact that her husband underwent treatment for a brain tumor three years.
"It's unbelievable the way this community supports and helps when someone is in need," said Bulmahn. "I wasn't sure about doing this benefit; God put this on my mind and I actually prayed about it. I felt that He was calling me to do something for this family and I obeyed Him.
"She is a true miracle, a really true miracle," continued Bulmahn. "She changed my outlook on life. I went through this with my husband and now I prayed through this with her."
"You've got to keep hoping a lot and have the will to live," commented Bulmahn's husband, Jeff. "I put complete faith in God during my time. Prayer does a lot; it's not just prescriptions that bring healing. Prayer does healing. It's amazing the way this community comes together; sometimes that's the best medicine."
Jason Banter, who also helped lead the benefit described his reaction to the community support as, "blessed for the family."
"She is a true miracle, to see where she is today is really an amazing story," Banter said.
Taya Augsburger, who helped recruit gifts and donations for the benefit, admitted that she was hesitant in asking for donations, initially. But when she went into the Amish community, her attitude was uplifted immediately.
"The Amish were so very giving," said Augsburger. "They were also so supportive and impressed with what had happened to Kaye. Everyone feels that Kaye has shown the community the strength it takes to be a survivor."
Adams Central freshman Noah Hirschy said that students, likewise, have been deeply impressed with God's working in Mellencamp's life.
"It breaks my heart what she went through in all of this, but her faith is so amazing to all of us," said Hirschy. "It makes me think how grateful we should be to God for all that He does."
Another one of Mellencamp's close school friends, Donna Boeglin, said that the more she got involved, the more she realized what a great event she was a part of, and how special the faith of her friend is to everyone. Saturday night, Boeglin's eyes filled with tears as she watched Mellencamp smiling and greeting people.
"Every time I look at her it brings tears to my eyes," said Boeglin. "When I pray, I want to cry for her. This all made me believe in prayer like I never had before. It was prayer that got her through this."
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