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Fundraiser to help woman get specially equipped van

Vicki Strever, her husband Clint and her horse Cricket.
Vicki Strever, her husband Clint and her horse Cricket.

Four years ago, Vicki Strever of Somonauk would describe herself as living an independent and carefree life, driving an F250 truck and hauling her horse Cricket around in a trailer.

Because of SLE Lupus, which she was diagnosed with at age 6, and despite 15 years of chemotherapy, Strever learned in July 2014 that her kidneys were functioning at only 8 percent. Strever also was born with cerebral palsy that affected her left side.

Once her kidneys failed, Strever had to start at-home dialysis, which took 12 to 14 hours a day. After being on dialysis for six months, she received a kidney transplant in December 2014.

Unfortunately, the anti-rejection drugs’ side effects left Strever unable to walk or stand on her left leg four months after the transplant. During a recent visit to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Strever learned that the damage may not be reversible.

“I was told that unless it’s a miracle from God, I will never be able to walk again,” Strever said. “Through Mayo, I was able to order an electric wheelchair, which was partially paid for through a grant from the Permobil Cares Foundation. However, I was unable to use the wheelchair without a van.”

A van equipped to transport the new electric chair cost between $83,000 and $85,000. To help fundraise for the van, Strever’s family is hosting a fundraiser for her from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, at Skooters Roadhouse, 700 W. Jefferson St. in Shorewood.

Tickets for the event cost $25 and will be available for purchase at the door. The fundraiser will include a buffet, live music performances by country bands RockStar Rodeo, Kelly Daniels and Radio Romance, 50/50 drawings every hour, raffles and silent and live auctions.

“I would greatly appreciate any help,” Strever said. “With a van, I will be able to do more things by myself and have freedom and independence again.”

Stop by any Heartland Bank location to donate to the Vicki Strever benefit, visit www.gofundme.com/wheels-for-vickis-wheels or text or call 815-370-1404 for information.

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