Car show benefits Luling girl with cerebral palsy

Louisiana Custom Cruisers, Inc. will hold the second annual benefit car show on Nov. 1 at St. Charles Plaza.

This year’s beneficiary is 4-year-old Marlie Graham. Marlie has been diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy. She was born with only ¼ of her brain and all four of her ventricles were enlarged.

Paige and Richard Graham, Marlie’s parents, have been through a lot with their little girl, but always try to stay positive.

“We know that there are children worse off than Marlie. We look at the glass half full and not half empty and we are thankful for the things we have including the joy that Marlie brings us everyday,” says Paige.

Marlie has undergone several surgeries to correct severe scoliosis. Without the corrective rods in place, the curve in her spine would possibly crush her organs and cause death.

Besides an infection that is being treated, the family hopes that this last surgery remains a success. Marlie is wheel chair bound and has very limited motor skills.

She can grab some things, but can not play and hold toys. Being that she is cortically blind, she only has her peripheral vision. Her hearing is also an issue. She is severe to profoundly deaf in the left ear and moderate to severely deaf in the right ear.

Marlie does have some help with hearing aids. After having recurrent reflux issues and because Marlie was aspirating her food, she underwent a corrective gastro surgery and had a feeding tube put in.

Marlie will more than likely never grow more mentally, walk, talk, hear correctly or see correctly. She will more than likely always be wheel chair bound and always be fed through a tube.

I say more than likely because Paige states, she will never give up hope for a miracle or a great break-through in medical technology.

Marlie may only have the mental capacity of a 3 to 6 month old, but she is still a growing girl physically. With the money raised at the benefit car show the Graham’s will have an addition added onto Marlie’s bedroom.

With the addition of this handicap accessible bathroom, life for Marlie and her family will be a bit easier. A lift will be installed that will help with lifting Marlie in out of the tub and move easily around the bathroom.

Paige does not ask for much but with the addition of the handicap bathroom on the house she will have some relief.

Hoping the fundraiser a success, wheel chair ramps and other essential handicap elements may also be added to the family home and vehicle.

The car show will offer something for everyone. Anything can be registered, from cars and trucks to low-riders and antiques.

This event is guaranteed to have some nice rides to walk around and look at.

Besides the car show, there will be live music by Wayne Foret, food, drinks, door prizes, lots of fun things for the kids, and much more. Registration is from 8 a.m. to noon, Show-N-Shine will begin at 11 a.m. and the day will run until 6 p.m.

The car show is hosted by Louie’s Wrecker Service Inc., All Custom Graphics and Dealer Services. Frank Russo, owner of Dealer Services, explains why they choose as Marlie this year’s beneficiary.

“I have known Marlie since birth and I know the struggles the family has been through. Marlie has been in and out of hospitals and finances are hard. We knew this was the right thing to do to help her get her handicap bathroom and felt she was the right recipient this go round.”

Come out Saturday, Nov. 1 for some fun, food, music and cars. It is sure to be a great family event and it is all to benefit a beautiful little girl.

For registration or further information see car show ad in today’s paper on page 4A.


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