Benefit for paralyzed St. James boy this weekend

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 13, 2011

By David Vitrano


PAULINA – All weekend long a benefit for Tyler Zeringue will be held on the grounds of Longview Recreational Park in Paulina.

The son of Bruce and Mary Zeringue, Tyler was left paralyzed over 60 percent of his body as the result of a four-wheeler accident.

Mary Zeringue said he was riding behind the levee when he hit an obscured culvert ditch. The four-wheeler landed on top of him, and he broke his back in two places.

Further complicating matters, Tyler has now developed diabetes and, as a result, suffers from kidney problems.

“It’s been a struggle. It’s been hard,” said Mary Zeringue.

She said her son has begun receiving stem-cell treatments with the hopes of returning some of the movement and sensation he lost as a result of the accident. Unfortunately, because the treatments are still somewhat experimental, health insurance will not pay for them.

She said the family would also like to refit the bathroom to accommodate Tyler’s physical limitations.

Having subsequently developed back problems herself, Mary Zeringue said, “It’s getting harder and harder.”

Luckily, the family no longer has to face its burdens alone.

“We’ve got plenty of friends, and they know the need,” said Mary Zeringue.

This network of friends and family put together the fundraiser, which began yesterday and will continue today and tomorrow at the Paulina park.

“So many people are so willing to help,” said Mary Zeringue.

Saturday’s activities include a one-mile walk/fun run at 8 a.m., a five-kilometer run at 8:30 a.m., a horseshoe tournament at 10 a.m., a mixed cabbageball tournament at 11 a.m. and a steak dinner in the evening. On Sunday, attendee can look forward to a washerboard tournament at 11 a.m., an auction at 2 p.m. and a chicken and dirty rice dinner in the evening. Both days will feature a variety of food and live music starting in the afternoon and lasting well into the evening.

Longview Recreation Park is located at 32232 Transco Lane near the volunteer fire station on Highway 642.