FALLBROOK – The sides of Brandon Road were lined Saturday, November 14, with cars bringing more than 150 contributors to a fundraiser for five-year old Hailey Gee of Temecula.
Born with a rare genetic disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), any action or trauma that rubs or puts pressure on Hailey’s skin causes blisters and sores that are comparable to those suffered by individuals with third-degree burns. The constant caring for Hailey’s condition has placed her single-mother Kandace under considerable financial distress and that is when Dan Paulson, Martti Silvola and other concerned members of the community stepped in to help.
An old hand at assisting others in the past, Paulson has raised tens of thousands of dollars for St. Jude Children’s Hospital during events held annually at his Martial Art Concepts studio on Brandon Street, but this year was to be different.
Hailey’s case of EB is a heartbreaking burden for anyone to bear, no less a little girl in need of constant bandaging. Paulson decided to dedicate this season’s efforts towards providing the Gee’s with as much assistance as possible.
Paulson and his team pulled together their tried and true formula of children’s martial arts demonstrations, auctions of contributed items and a heaping serving of lunch accompanied by virtuoso guitarist Jerry ‘Hot Rod’ DeMink’s distinctive blending of rock and performance art to complement the numerous attendees’ charity and it all paid off handsomely. To date, more than seventeen thousand dollars has been raised.
Overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity from strangers, Kandace said they will be dedicating the money toward much needed operations for Hailey and to help underwrite their monthly medical bills.
With a renewed faith in mankind, they are also planning on continuing to raise the awareness of EB, while stem cell researchers at Stanford and elsewhere are using grant money released just last month to work towards finding a treatment for this uniquely debilitating disease.