The Grand Island Independent is hosting its second annual “Girls and Pearls, a Night of Giving” for Remie Bragg, who is battling a series of rare disorders.
Remie is the daughter of Megan Stuchlik and Derrick Bragg and at 5 months old was diagnosed with microgastria-limb reduction. This disorder has caused her to have a small stomach and an abnormal esophagus, which has caused difficulties with her eating and growth.
Now, at 17 months, Remie has a tethered spinal cord, her right kidney is missing, her left kidney is at stage two of chronic kidney disease, she was recently diagnosed with a laryngeal cleft and diagnosed with an immune deficiency.
Megan and Derrick are currently waiting for the test results of her immune deficiency so they can take Remie to Cincinnati for a possible bone marrow transfer. Despite having visited 54 doctors, Megan and Derrick said the gastroenterologists they have visited have no idea what is occurring, so they referred Remie to Cincinnati.
“Everything is extremely rare. Everything that she has is rare,” Megan said.
Although Remie has insurance coverage in Nebraska, her insurance did not cover her previous procedures in California, Minnesota or Kansas City. Megan said that a couple of fundraisers have been done in the community to help Remie, but they expect to travel more for doctor opinions.
“It’s really hard to find a doctor who can help us or at least has seen this before,” she said.
Pat Bell, advertising sales and special events coordinator at The Independent, said she saw the story about Remie on Facebook when Gates Elementary School held a popcorn fundraiser for her. Bell said she brought it up to Terrie Baker, The Independent’s general manager, and Casey Harvey, the advertising assistant at The Independent, and they decided to help Remie’s family.
Girls and Pearls will be from 5 to 9 p.m. July 18 at the Riverside Golf Club at 2820 Riverside Drive in Grand Island. Tickets can be purchased in advance at The Grand Island Independent for $7 or at the door for $8.
The night of giving will include 30 booths from local businesses selling items and having giveaways, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. A live auction will close the night, which will include items donated by local businesses, with 100% of the proceeds going to Remie’s family.
“We are raising money to help a family in need, so I think that’s what makes this so different from just bringing ladies in and listening to speakers,” Baker said. “It’s our way of having a night out for the ladies and also help raise money for families.”
Megan said that Remie is constantly smiling and giving Megan, Derrick and Remie’s brothers the motivation to continue seeking more doctors and help. She has three older brothers — Jaitlyn, Jaron and Tyreece Harwell — who are very supportive of her.
Megan said that the brothers are very supportive, but find it difficult when Megan and Derrick have to take Remie out of state.
She said Girls and Pearls means a lot to them because people are coming together to help the family.
“It’s really just a big help and stress-reliever,” Megan said.
Derrick said the family is trying to be strong for Remie and he is grateful for Girls and Pearls because it is another community fundraiser that will help with their upcoming trip to Cincinnati.
“We’ve always had pretty great support and we luckily have our family to have our back as well,” he said. “I would just like to thank everybody.”
It’s a night out for girls, but don’t forget to bring your guy with you for the auction. There are a lot of items he may like as well.