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Lifelong Shelby man struggles with care, bills

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Brain disorder has left Byron Dale a quadriplegic

By Lisa King

Byron Dale, once a fully functioning adult and now a quadriplegic, said he is hoping that a fundraiser coming up Saturday night will help him to maintain his independence and allow him to continue to live without being too dependent on family members.

“It would be a blessing for my parents and sister that they would not have to worry about me and who is taking care of me,” Dale said. “I want to avoid, as much as possible, having to rely on family for day to day necessities, like hygiene and medications.”

Dale, 52, suffers from Chiari Malformation, a brain disorder that causes paralysis if left untreated.

Anita Dane, his sister, said that he was apparently born with the condition but was not diagnosed until he was 25.

Dale had worked for 27 years at Walmart until last year he became too ill to continue working, she said. Surgery to improve the condition instead made it worse.

Dale lives in an apartment, with round-the-clock home health care.  He can’t be left alone, Dane said, because he is completely dependent on others for his care.

She said he was in a nursing home for a while, but the family brought him home after getting a handicapped ramped installed at his home.

“He’s in his right mind and he can move his head from side to side, so he can control his wheelchair,” she said. “But as far as simple, everyday things that people do, he has to have twenty-four-seven care, and that’s why we’re having this fundraiser, to pay for that [home care] and take care of some outstanding medical bills that pretty much wiped out his retirement.”

Dane said Dale’s those medical bills are in excess of $20,000 and his in-home care costs $5,000 every two weeks. He recently was accepted for Medicaid, she said, but Medicaid only would date back to February.

Dane said Dale did not apply for disability when he was diagnosed because he enjoyed working too much.

“When he hears other people complaining about working, that makes him mad, because he’d give anything to be able to work again,” she said.

Dane said her brother, who has lived in Shelbyville all his life, likes to sit in Veteran’s Park, next to Commonwealth Bank on Main Street, when the weather is nice.

“He hardly sits there any time before three or four people stop to visit,” she said.

The fundraiser will be held Saturday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. at Clay Street Baptist Church and will kickoff with a silent auction at 5 p.m., followed by a concert from 6 to 8, by numerous church choirs, gospel groups and individuals.

Refreshment will be served after the performance.

Janet Harris, one of the organizers of the event, said that all of Dale’s friends plan to come dressed in white shirts and blue jeans.

‘We thought it would be a good way to show unity,” she said.

Benefit for Byron Dale

 

WHAT:Concert, silent auction to help quadriplegic

WHEN:5-8 p.m., Saturday

WHERE:Clay Street Baptist Church, 1940 Midland Trail in Shelbyville

TO DONATE:Make donations payable to Shelby County Community Charities with Bryon Dale in the memo section.