ELKHART — April 24, 2012 is a date that the Shuff family will never forget. Rachelle Shuff was saved by her vehicle’s air bags after another car collided with her’s on S.R. 19.
Shuff’s family met with her at Elkhart General Hospital, where she was told recovery from torn cartilage and bulging discs would take awhile.
“My kids really struggled seeing me in the hospital and being unable to walk,” said Shuff. “I went from going 24-7 to just being stopped. They’ve struggled with Mom not being the same mom, but they’re glad that I’m still here. I think they’ve had to grow up a lot.”
Shuff received injections as part of her treatment, but matters only worsened. Contaminated shots resulted in Shuff contracting fungal meningitis, a lifelong illness which often causes dizziness, nausea, sun sensitivity, liver and kidney damage from medication, hallucinations and exhaustion.
“I thought it would be hard enough recovering from my injuries,” said Shuff. “My life is completely changed.”
Unable to return to work a year after her accident, the Shuff family is in need of additional funds for the numerous medical bills they continue to incur.
“We have strong faith that everything is going to be OK in the end,” said Shuff. “I just need to stay strong, and that’s what my family has been helping me with. Even the support we have had from the Elkhart community has been so amazing.”
The Shuff’s family and friends have teamed up to host a benefit from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at Veterans of Foreign Wars, 1201 W. Pike St., Goshen. All proceeds will go to the family.
With more than 20 vendors including Pampered Chef, Mary Kay and Pink Zebra, along with a silent auction, those in attendance will be able to shop from 2 to 3 p.m., the auction to follow at 3 p.m.
Refreshments will also be served for a minimal cost.
While raising funds for the family, Shuff also hopes to raise awareness about the illness she will now always suffer from.
“There are so many people in the area struggling with fungal meningitis,” said Shuff. “More information needs to be sent out. Our lives have been turned upside down, and it was bad enough with the accident, but now we’re just trying to make it through.”
More information on the event is available by calling Diva’s Dreams at 534-6113.