ELKHART — For first time since suffering a brain aneurysm in November, Nikki Kinkaide will perform with her band at a fundraiser to help her pay for medical expenses.
Friends and family are planning a benefit in May for the 34-year-old manager at 523 Tap and Grill. The evening will mark Kinkaide’s first time singing with SWC Band since the group was scheduled for a show the day after Thanksgiving.
“She was at home getting ready when it happened,” said her sister, Nina Kinkaide. “She said her hands and her feet went numb and everything got blurry, and that’s all she can remember.”
Nikki Kinkaide had surgery to treat the aneurysm and spent 21 days at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, her sister said.
“It was pretty scary,” said Nina Kinkaide, who works as a server at 523 Tap and Grill. “She didn’t have any symptoms or anything like that.”
While Nikki was recovering, medical expenses and other bills piled up. She was forced to take off work for three months, and she’s still transitioning back to her everyday life.
“She didn’t have health insurance, and she was just getting ready to file for it when it happened,” Nina Kinkaide said. “She was denied Medicaid, Social Security and she was denied disability, so the benefit is basically to help her save her house.”
Nikki Kinkaide’s recovery has been “a little up and down,” her sister said.
“But at the hospital, they’re calling her a walking miracle,” Nina Kinkaide said. “She can still talk and walk, and she’s perfectly normal. She has one more procedure on May 7.”
The benefit for Nikki Kinkaide will begin at 4 p.m. May 4 with raffles, appetizers, drinks and a silent auction at 523 Tap and Grill, 523 S. Main St. in downtown Elkhart. SWC Band will play around 6 p.m., and Rachel and the Blue Rays will perform about an hour later. A suggested donation of $20 or more will be taken at the door. The fundraiser is an 18-and-older event.
Anyone who cannot go to the fundraiser but wants to help Nikki Kinkaide can visit donationto.com/well-wishes-for-nikki.
Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.