Benefit to be held Saturday for Todd Edgerly
Communities in Orange and Jefferson County will come together in a huge benefit Saturday for Todd Edgerly. Edgerly, 48, is a 1982 graduate of Bridge City High School and has lived in Jefferson County. He is employed by and is brother of IBEW Local 479.
Todd’s parents, Gene and Flo Edgerly, are also well known in Orange County. Flo was formerly the justice of the peace of Precinct 3.
Todd was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a very aggressive brain cancer, in March. “It’s one of the fastest growing malignancies that there is as far as brain cancer,” said Stephanie Edgerly, Todd’s sister-in-law. The benefit is to help offset medical expenses not covered by insurance.
Doctors at M.D. Anderson Hospital sent Edgerly home on hospice care after their treatments were not slowing the cancer down. The cancer continued to grow after surgery was performed to remove most of the tumor and during radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Doctors there said there was nothing else they could do.
When Todd came home, the Edgerlys were not ready to give up. Flo went to the Internet to search for answers. They changed his diet switching to organic foods and eliminated sugar, which is thought by some to feed cancer. She also located a doctor in Houston, Stanislaw Burzynski that did targeted therapies. Even though the doctor has been performing these specialized treatments for over three decades, it is still considered experimental by most of the medical community and is not paid for by insurance. The cost has been high and has to be paid as they go, but that is not even a deciding factor when it comes to a mother trying to save the life of her child.
Todd has been under the new treatments for about a month, and Monday they got their first results. “Todd’s tumor is stable. It has not grown within the last month,” said Flo. “Before, it was growing leaps and bounds. It’s the fastest growing and it has not grown at all and the swelling is down. The doctor was just extremely pleased with his progress.”
That was great news for the family, but the battle is not over. The MRI did show scarring from the radiation he received at M.D. Anderson and he is still recovering from the stroke which has paralyzed the left side of his body.
Friends decided to host a fundraiser last month when the new treatments began and their costs soared.
“We want to lighten their financial load during this extremely difficult time,” said Nicole Hargrave Glass, one of the event organizers.
The Edgerlys have been blown away at what has happened in the last month with the fundraiser. Donations have been gathered, bands have been lined up, and volunteers are ready to man the pits.
“I knew that Todd was well loved. I knew that he had a lot of friends, but I didn’t realize the people that he has touched and helped and that has come forward to repay him. It’s just been amazing,” said Flo.
The all day music, auction and barbecue extravaganza is scheduled 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday at the Community Center in Bridge City.
IBEW Local 479 has been very supportive and is preparing 1,300 pulled pork sandwiches. DJ Boudain and Spanky’s donated boudain, links and brisket. Others have also donated additional meat, sodas, buns, water, paper goods, anything that has been needed. Enough food to serve 2,500 people will be available for sale at the event.
“I live in awe of how did this happen, you know, how did this grow?” asked Flo. “It started out when one of his friends said ‘Hey is it okay if we give Todd a benefit?’ I didn’t expect it to balloon up to this size. They have food to feed 2,500 people!”
The fundraiser is “Bring Your Own Bottle” but setups and water will be available.
To satisfy your sweet tooth, a large “candy bar” will be fully stocked with a variety of goodies including: caramel popcorn, chocolates, hard candies, and more.
Organizers had to get a box trailer to hold all the auction items donated. Silent auction bidding will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Many of the larger items will be offered during the all-day silent auction. Items include: Miranda Lambert and Tracy Byrd autographed guitars, three-day vacation condo in Destin, Fla., $4,500 3day/2night room and board hunting trip and taxidermy, Carnival 4-day cruise for two out of Galveston, Trophy Tote cooler bag, Rhino spray bed liner, outdoor patio furniture, dental bleaching, New England Patriots signed helmet, and much more. The auction list is growing daily.
Live auctions will be held 2-9 p.m., in between the bands. Local disc jockey, J. B. Benard, plans to help the crowd dig deep into their pockets during the live auction bidding. “I think we will see a bidding war on many our spectacular auction items,” said Molly LaHaye. “People love to have a good time, as well as help others.”
Mike Guillotte organized the entertainment. “Several bands kindly volunteered their talent for a great cause,” He said. Artists lined up include: Jivin’ Gene Bourgeois, B B & Co., Alligator Handshake, David Joel, The Ruxpins, Shawn Newell, and DJ Jeff “Rokstar” Guillory. Attendees will be treated to a mix of blues, folk, country, and easy rock.
Many of the volunteers that day will be Todd’s classmates. The Bridge City Class of ‘82, decided to use their 30 year reunion as a vehicle to help a fellow classmate. It was decided to ask classmates to donate $50 to the cause, in lieu of spending the money on a traditional class reunion.
“I Wear Grey for Todd Edgerly” tee-shirts, hats, koozies, and bracelets will also be sold during the fundraiser.
The benefit is expected to be a huge community event said organizers. “Bring your family and friends, but come hungry,” said LaHaye.
Flo said she asked Guillotte last night, “What are you going to do with all that food?”
He replied, “We’re gonna run out.”
“Who is this guy that everybody has stepped up with their love and their prayers and their money?” Flo asked. “You know, that’s my son, it’s just awesome.”
For more information e-mail LaHaye at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the official Facebook event page: Benefit for Todd Edgerly.
Direct monetary donations can be made through the mail to: Todd Edgerly Benefit/Care of Bridge City Bank, Acct # 146766-06, PO Box 887, Bridge City, TX 77611.