One East Texas family is asking for your help to raise funds for their two-year-old daughter's medical treatments.
TIffany Wolven of Flint has a rare genetic disorder that has caused her to have multiple surgeries on her brain and stomach, and her parents Michael and Tammy Wolven are organizing next weekend's "Run for Hope" benefit barrel race for a girl they say has a tremendous fight to live.
"We spend every precious minute that we have with her and enjoy her because we know in our reality that it can be taken away from us very quickly," said Tammy.
Tiffany Wolven was born with an occipital encephalocele in November 2010 - she had a hole in her skull and part of her brain was intruding. She was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called Arnold Chari III malformation, and her parents say her day to day life since then has been a challenge.
"At ten weeks old she had her first brain surgery," Tammy said. "She spent the first four months of her life in the NICU down at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston."
Tammy says Tiffany was doing well until coming down with a respiratory infection in January 2012 that caused her to stop eating. What she did eat, she would throw up - to the point that she's had several major stomach operations and requires around-the-clock care.
"Right now we've been told that if they don't get this retching and vomiting under control with her that she might not make it to her fourth birthday," said Tammy.
Even though the Wolvens have health insurance and Tiffany is on Medicaid, there are a lot of out-of-pocket expenses - one genetic test Tiffany recently needed wasn't covered by insurance and cost $20,000, and travel back and forth to her doctors in Houston several times a month has wiped the family's savings.
Still, the Wolvens have hope that Tiffany's health will improve.
"She has more courage beyond her years than any of us could ever imagine," Tammy said. "That little girl just keeps fighting and has a strong will to live."
The Run for Hope benefit barrel race will be Saturday, January 19, at the Tyler Riding Club in Mount Selma. There will be spots for exhibition, as well as barrel and pole racing. There will also be a silent auction and other items for sale to benefit the Wolven family. The event is free to attend.
If you'd like to participate, the exhibition portion starts at 10 a.m. It costs $5 per entry or $12 for three entries. The open portion starts at 12 p.m. Barrel racing will be $30 for adults and $20 for youth and pole racing will be $20 for adults and $15 for youth.
Contact Tammy Wolven at 903-707-3942 or 903-952-5391 for more information.
The Wolvens also have a benefit fund for Tiffany's medical expenses established at all Austin Bank locations.
All proceeds will go to benefit the Wolven family.
Sunday, May 19 2013 11:31 PM EDT2013-05-20 03:31:42 GMT
Relatives and dozens of Beech Island community members gathered today in front of Island Cuts Barbershop to remember Zann Worrell. "I was totally surprised and very happy that everybody came out becauseMore >>
Dozens of Beech Island residents gathered tonight to remember Zann Worrell, who was fatally shot in his barbershop on Saturday afternoon.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 6:18 PM EDT2013-05-19 22:18:38 GMT
Aiken County deputies say they searched with New Ellenton police officers for two armed men who shot dogs on Sizemore Avenue on Saturday night. Aiken County deputies say they started searching for the suspectsMore >>
UPDATE: Neighbors are shocked after two suspects shot three dogs in a New Ellenton neighborhood Saturday night. More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 4:20 PM EDT2013-05-19 20:20:12 GMT
One person has been transported to the hospital after being shot at Axis Barbershop in Beech Island. Aiken County dispatch said it happened around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. There are at least two suspects,More >>
Aiken County Coroner's office has confirmed that 32 year old Zann Worrell Jr. of North Augusta died at GRU Medical Center on May 18, 2013 at 3:37 p.mMore >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 3:11 PM EDT2013-05-19 19:11:10 GMT
Richmond County Dispatch confirms there has been a stabbing at a Family Dollar. Deputies say it happened on the 2900 block of Dean's Bridge Road around 7:18 tonight. Information is limited at this tiMore >>
UPDATE: Richmond County investigators said Tonya S. Terry was stabbed several times in the chest area inside the Family Dollar on Dean's Bridge Road Saturday evening.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:04 AM EDT2013-05-19 14:04:50 GMT
Richmond County dispatch received a call around 7:20 a.m. that the Millbrook Apartment building was on fire located off of Skinner Mill Road. Firefighters were on the scene until around 8:30 a.m. No injuriesMore >>
Richmond County dispatch received a call around 7:20 a.m. that the Millbrook Apartment building was on fire located off of Skinner Mill Road.
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:23 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:23:19 GMT
A fundraiser was held Saturday in honor of Wesley Spires. Local firefighters held a boot drive to honor their fellow volunteer firefighter who remains in critical condition after he was beaten by whatMore >>
A fundraiser was held Saturday in honor of Wesley Spires. Local firefighters held a boot drive to honor their fellow volunteer firefighter who remains in critical condition after he was beaten by what investigators said was a bat along the Augusta Riverwalk on May 3rd.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:05:19 GMT
Instead of spending the day at the computer, some Augustans spent their day learning about it. People gathered at the Imperial Theater for Web Afternoon. Mayor Deke Copenhaver gave remarks about Augusta'sMore >>
People gathered at the Imperial Theater for Web Afternoon. Mayor Deke Copenhaver gave remarks about Augusta's growth in the technology sector.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 5:55 PM EDT2013-05-18 21:55:44 GMT
Michael Robert Bradford, an employee of DynCorp International, has been killed in Afghanistan.Bradford was a Grovetown resident, according to information from a DynCorp spokesperson.The spokesperson toldMore >>
Michael Robert Bradford, an employee of DynCorp International, has been killed in Afghanistan.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:47 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:47:31 GMT
Georgia Power crews are working to fix power lines at William Few Parkway and Knob Hill that were struck from a car crash around 9 a.m. Saturday. Columbia County dispatch said two cars were involved withMore >>
Georgia Power crews are working to fix power lines at William Few Parkway and Knob Hill that were struck from a car crash around 9 a.m. Saturday.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:40 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:40:22 GMT
Richmond County Sheriff's Office released the following information in regards to Deputy Creech: Sheriff Roundtree and the family of Deputy Alton Daniel Creech would like to thank everyone within our community forMore >>
Funeral services will be held at First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way Extension, Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday morning, May 21, 2013 at 11am. Deputy Creech will lie in state for one hour prior to the service.More >>