Standing strong

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Courtesy photo Ethan Parsons, of Osburn, with his dog, Boone.

OSBURN — Many have seen how small communities can almost act as a family in both good and bad times.

Residents of the Silver Valley have come together in years past to organize events that have brought joy to the area. Residents have also come together in times of need when a member of the community falls on hard times.

In the case of 18-year-old and Osburn native Ethan Parsons, it appears that the latter has occurred once again.

On Friday, locals banded together to raise money for the young man by holding a chili benefit at Lisa’s Gems of the Silver Valley in Kellogg.

Parsons received a possible diagnosis in January 2019 of Chiari Malformation along with a cyst on his brain that has burst and turned into a benign mass. According to the Mayo Clinic, Chiari (kee-AH-ree) Malformation is a condition in which brain tissue extends into your spinal canal. It occurs when part of your skull is abnormally small or misshapen, pressing on your brain and forcing it downward.

In addition to these maladies, he also has a herniated C1 in his spinal cord.

His gofundme page states that symptoms of these conditions started appearing in October 2017 when Parsons began having stomach issues and feeling abnormally ill. His symptoms kept developing and in January 2018, he started passing out intermittently.

Four months later, Parsons was beginning to have numbness in his legs and by the end of June he lost normal leg function — forcing him to use a wheelchair.

During all this time, multiple visits to a variety of medical professionals yielded no answers.

It was only roughly two months ago that an appointment with a chiropractor finally helped pin down his conditions.

Parsons received another MRI on Monday and then met with a team of doctors the following day to plan out his treatment.

Looking forward, the ultimate goal will be for Parsons to safely undergo a multi-doctor surgery to remove the mass and make needed repairs to his spine.

“Post surgery procedures are unknown at this time, but the recovery process would most likely include in-depth physical therapy to get his body in motion again,” the gofundme page explains.

Parsons loves fishing, motorsports and working on trucks and 4x4’s.

He worked as a lifeguard at Silver Rapids and later at Dave Smith Motors. Parsons even became CPR certified and received an award for volunteering at the local fire department.

The event last week was made possible by Black Kettle Kitchen, Timber’s Treats & Treasures, Pinehurst Harvest Foods, Kellogg IGA, Osburn IGA and other private donors. All proceeds from the event went toward Parson’s Stand Strong Fund.

If anyone wishes to contribute to Parson’s recovery efforts, visit his gofundme account by searching “Ethan Parsons — Stand Strong Fund” on the website.

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