WOODLAND, Mich., — Kimberly Swift has always had a special bond with her older sister Stacy. Over the years, the bond has only grown stronger as she’s helped her deal with a debilitating condition.
Stacy Kruger developed shingles in 2003. The painful rash caused by the chickenpox virus, showed up in her ear; damaging the trigeminal nerve. Kruger also developed Bell’s Palsy which has paralyzed part of her face as if she’s suffered a stroke.
“She’s lost a good bit of quality of life,” explained Swift. “Things like sunlight, wind, noise, touch will set her into these pain spikes. Some of them are mild, but some of them so severe that she drops to the floor and flops like a fish.”
Swift, who recently lost her job, decided to go to work organizing a benefit for her sister. Money raised will go toward deep brain stimulator surgery. Although the surgery could improve Kruger’s quality of life significantly, the procedure is not covered by her insurance.
“We would hope for a 75 percent success rate, which would translate into a 50 percent improvement for me. And 50 percent is a lot when you’re looking at nothing.”
Swift said the benefit is planned for Saturday, Sept. 14th. The event begins with a bike run at 11 am at The Blarney Stone in Hastings (606 S. Whitmore Rd.) and ends with a chili dinner at Herald E. Classic park in Woodland.
“We’ve had such an overwhelming response,” said Swift. “I would love to raise $20,000 thousand dollars, just to have that comfort of knowing we’ve got a good start.”
Kruger told FOX 17 News she is moved by her sister’s compassion.
“Instead of putting her 100 percent into looking for something for herself, she’s thrown her 110 percent in to help me and it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it,” she said.
Donations to help Kruger can also be made to the Chemical Bank branch in Hastings, located at 241 E. State Street, under the name “Stacy Kruger Benefit”.