Help for the helpers: Benefit dinners extend help to locals battling illness

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, July 10, 2019

LAPLACE — Two St. John the Baptist Parish residents known as loving spirits with giving hearts are in need of help this summer after receiving unexpected, life-changing medical diagnoses.

Those who know Stormy Decker of LaPlace say she is highly involved in the St. Charles Catholic High School community; always present to support her children in their academic and athletic endeavors.


Stormy Decker

When a medical check-up at Eastertime led to a leukemia diagnosis, Stormy’s entire world changed. She’s fighting for her life at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas and recently finished her second round of chemo.

Meanwhile, longtime youth football and basketball coach Ken Adams of Reserve was in for a shock when he learned he had kidney disease two months ago.

Since that initial hospital visit, life has shifted to include lengthy at-home dialysis treatments. However, medical expenses have already risen above what his medical insurance can cover.

Family and friends of Stormy and Ken have organized individual efforts to lessen the burden of medical debt, and the community can help by purchasing benefit lunches this week.

A “Leukemia Messed with the Wrong Chick” pastalaya plate lunch sale takes place from tomorrow (Thursday) at St. Charles Catholic High School.

Ken Adams

For a $10 donation, supporters will receive pastalaya, salad, bread and a dessert. Delivery is available to the local area from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and pick up is available at the school from noon to 2 p.m. in the commons area.

To order a lunch, please contact Sandy Boeckl at 504-722-7520, Jose Genovese at 504-442-0681 or Angelle DeLaneuville at 504-415-3567.

The benefit plate lunch sale for Ken Adams starts at 10 a.m. Friday at 327 South Emile St. in Garyville.

Supporters may choose a bell pepper or fish as the main entrée, and both menu options include shrimp rice, baked spaghetti, potato salad, peas and a dessert for $10.

Extras include a bell pepper for $3, fish for $3, shrimp rice for $2.50 and drinks for $1 each.

To place an order, please contact 095-535-1088, 504-939-7693 or 985-233-6756.

Karen Craighead, Ken’s mother-in-law, is helping organize the fundraiser for Ken.

“He’s a nice fellow,” Karen said. “He used to be a coach for the parish football team. He’s involved in the basketball team in the parish for the little kids. He’s very good at helping people, and he really needs help. We’re just praying that his insurance will come through.”

Dialysis is going well, according to Karen, though the diagnosis has been an adjustment.

“It was sudden,” Karen said. “He’s not too talkative. We’re trying to get him back in stride. I think he’s just a little bit worried, that’s all. His medicine is doing well. He’s walking and he’s talking.”

Stormy’s friend Sandy Boeckl said chemotherapy has brought good days and bad days. Boeckl invites all who attend Thursday’s benefit lunch sale at SCC to bring written letters, photos, memories, gift cards and trinkets to help lift Stormy’s spirits.

The collection will be placed into a “chest of inspiration” and mailed to Stormy.

“Stormy is just the most wonderful person,” Boeckl said, adding many in the community know from her work at Shampoo Hair Salon in LaPlace.

“She a ball of energy,” Boeckl said. “She’s funny. She’s loud. She just makes everybody laugh and giggle.”

A blood drive held last week at Ascension of Our Lord saw 50 donors come out in support of Stormy, and more blood drives are planned.

For every pint of blood donated, the Blood Center gives Stormy $10 to cover medical expenses.

The Blood Center will be at Winn Dixie in Destrehan from 3 to 7 p.m. July 19 and at Wal-Mart in LaPlace from 2 to 7 p.m. July 30 in support of Stormy.

According to Boeckl, #StormyStrong magnets and “Leukemia Messed With the Wrong Chick” T-Shirts will be available for sale

at the events.