Fundraiser for vision impaired City child

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Another fundraiser is planned for this weekend in support of a Red Deer toddler facing treatment in China in early 2011.

Beau Gallipeau, who is 21 months old, has septo-optic dysplasia, a rare disorder characterized by abnormal development of the optic nerve.

Little Beau could also ultimately have little or no vision and potentially be seriously delayed in his cognitive development.

His pituitary gland is also underdeveloped, which affects his hormones in general. This affects his thyroid, his salt levels and his cortisol levels.

Beau and his parents, Rebecca and Jessie Gallipeau, are planning to fly to the Chengyang People’s Hospital in Qingdao in February or March of next year. Treatment utilizing umbilical cord blood stem cells in China would help the youngster, said Rebecca.

The next fundraiser, set to run Oct. 23 at Fox Run School in Sylvan Lake, includes a silent auction, a benefit concert and a dance. It runs from 3 p.m. until midnight.

There is no charge to attend but donations are of course welcome.

To date, about $38,000 has been raised for the journey to China and the treatments, said Rebecca. The family has planned and hosted a number of fundraisers over the past year.

It’s expected total costs could reach up to $50,000.

Beau was born in January of 2009, and his family soon noticed there were problems with his vision and that he seemed delayed in his motor skills.

Meanwhile, Rebecca and her family are very appreciative of the support they’ve received from the community.

“People are really supportive, especially when it comes to little ones,” she said. She believes the treatment in China would help with Beau’s vision, and the kind of treatment available in China is still in its early stages in North America, she added.

For more information about the fundraising campaign or about Beau’s situation, check out www.beausmissionforvision.weebly.com.

mweber@reddeerexpress.com

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