Benefit offers chance to love they neighbor
Dirk Flowers, a native son of Bridge City, and his family, are asking the community for their help.
A benefit is being held to offset medical expenses from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 27 at the Knights of Columbus Hall next to St. Henry Catholic Church, 970 Ave. A in Bridge City.
Live music will be provided by STILL Rockin Good Times Band. The live auction will start at 12 p.m. and a silent auction ends at 2 p.m. Barbeque plates will cost $10.
His daughter, Rochelle Briggs, said her father is doing well, recovering at UTMB in Galveston after surgery to remove two tumors in his head.
“He sat up and did some physical therapy yesterday (Monday). We hope he will be released from the hospital either today or tomorrow,” she said.
The family will stay in Houston near the hospital in case of another episode or fever. There’s also a rehabilitation facility in Pasadena.
“His left side is very weak. The surgery was Friday morning. The doctor said they got 70 percent to 90 percent of the tumors,” Briggs said. “They will follow with chemo and radiation because they kind of tumors usually will grow back.”
The cancer is an aggressive form call Glioma.The family said Dirk has received exceptional car at UTMB and joked a few nurses want to come home with them.
Briggs said Dirk purchased new insurance a week ago, but she doesn’t know when it will go into effect or if it will cover this hospital stay.
Dirk stared feeling the ill effects of the two masses two months ago.
“In April of this year Dirk was brought to ER with difficulty walking. His left arm was feeling heavy and he was having occular migraines which caused him to see flashing colored lights and have limited vision,” according to his wife, Missy Smith Flowers. “The CT scan showed two masses in his brain. We were sent immediately to Houston for more tests. After two days of MRIs and CT scan of chest and abdomen reconfirming, he did indeed have two masses in his brain only; no where else in his body.”
They were discharged home awaiting a date for surgery to perform a biopsy to determine a plan of treatment. The office called the day before surgery was scheduled and said their Affordable Healthcare insurance would not pay for surgery because they had already met our maximum, which was $25,000.
“Needless to say we had no idea that the limit was so low or we would never had agreed to it, seeing that it was $500 a month premium,” Missy wrote last week.” That being said, we are now going down other avenues for financial help.”
Such as seeing a neurosurgeon in Beaumont who was helping them try and get another insurance coverage. They’ve also filled out all paperwork for assistance through UTMB in Galveston.
“It has now been almost seven weeks since the ER trip and nothing has been done,” she then wrote. “He is still trying to be as active as possible but gets tired easily from having to drag his left leg. There is also swelling now in his left foot and of course the muscle in his leg is much smaller than the right. Also his vision is getting worse.”
The medication, also, keeps him from sleeping so he is not getting the rest he needs.
Dirk has worked as a welder and as a supervisor in contract work. He was laid off in January, according to Briggs and without insurance. He discovered he had cancer on June 18.
He was still in ICU on Father’s Day, so the family held it on Monday when he was moved to a different room.
“Our faith has gotten us through this, Briggs said. “Our family loves God as our source of strength, our hope and our healer. He is our peace and comfort.
“So many are praying for us and supporting us and rallying for us. He’s a great dad and he’s always had his kids best interests at heart. He has always provided for us. He loves us and his grandkids.”
She added God saved her father and his faith has been the turning point in the family’s lives. Each day is a gift to them to spend time with Dirk.
Christy Ridgaway is organizing the benefit.
She said there has been so many donations. For instance, Golden Triangle Cross Fit and MLB pitcher Clay Buchholz and his family, and Shields of Faith have donated auction items, Ryan Ancelet of Ancelet Cajun Market loaned his barbeque pit and ordered meat for the event, Thad King will be cooking, Triumph Church (the Flowers home church) donated a television for the auction, volunteers have brought desserts.
Others donating are Sneak-A-Peek Ultrasound, Fit Fuel Restaurant, Judy and Clyde Sneed, ReMAX Platinum and others making personal donations.
Those helping with the benefit are Booger Minter who helped with the hall rental fees, Mike Allison who will be making the potato salad and Chris Williams who made a “generous donation.”
“We’ve raised $8,000 on the GoFundMe account. This is beneficial to those who live out-of-town or who use credit cards. Our goal is raise $25,000 at the benefit. This will help with expenses and allow Missy to stay home with Dirk. It’s been an outpouring of generosity,” Ridgaway said.
Missy echoes the sentiment of the benefit organizers:
“If you can help financially in anyway we would be forever grateful. If not, we understand and ask if you would pray for God’s will to be done and for us to have favor through all of this. Because we know this, that our God is forever faithful and He will never leave us nor forsake us.”
For more information or to donate, contact Christy Ridgaway at 409-267-1401, Charlsey Herin at 409-748-0244, or Rochelle Briggs at 409-718-0328.