OAKHURST — The nonprofit Helping One Woman (HOW) will gather for the first time in the new year to honor Tina Sexton at Plazuelas Mexican Restaurant in Oakhurst, starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019.
Tina is a hard-working, vibrant mom of six, with two of her children married and four still at home, say HOW organizers. She was the general manager of our local Taco Bell, and volunteered at her sons’ schools.
“Tina attended every field trip, and never missed a single game until she was hospitalized for the rare, quick-moving and life-threatening illness, Myasthenia Gravis, Anti-MuSK.” This variation of the auto-immune disease primarily affects women in their thirties and aggressively attacks the respiratory system, according to HOW organizers, who say this is the hardest form of MG to treat. Patients often become resistant to treatment, which is the case for Tina.
“She is now considered untreatable and the doctors are helping to maintain her quality of life month by month. They do not believe she will go into remission as her respiratory system is too far gone. Tina will be going in for a tracheotomy in January to give her respiratory system a break.”
Tina has monthly intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and four rounds of chemo every four months in the hopes that she will be able to live each day with quality. She has had six ICU stays in the last year, seven surgeries, and so many other treatments and procedures it’s difficult to keep track. The family is drained physically, emotionally and financially. Meanwhile, Tina is fighting to go into remission and all her children are working hard to be there for their mom.
Kirsten, 19, works full-time to help pay for medications while still a full-time student student of criminal justice at Fresno State. Alexander, 17, organized an MG awareness event and walk in honor of his mom, and has learned to administer medications through her feeding tube.
Now, the community is invited to unite in support of this family at Plazuelas on Jan. 16, 2019. Please RSVP to Tokens at (559) 658-5428 with the number in your party, or if you have any contributions or questions. Plazuelas is located at 40015 Hwy 49 in the Raley’s shopping center.
HOW meets monthly to celebrate one deserving woman who receives the community’s support when she needs it the most. Those participating in the HOW benefit will offer $10 or more as a suggested donation for Tina and pay for their own dinner. Proceeds from the event go directly to Tina at the end of the evening.
Recipients of HOW are always a woman who is going through a time of irreplaceable loss or who has been through a period of loss within the last 12 months. Irreplaceable loss is defined as a catastrophic loss which cannot be recovered.
HOW says that “one woman with $10 can buy another woman lunch. Ten women giving $10 can buy another woman’s groceries. One hundred women giving $10 can really make a difference in another woman’s life.”
If you know a woman who is going through a time of irreplaceable loss, come to the January HOW meeting and nominate her to be the next recipient. Recipients are chosen in a public drawing.
“Remember that by helping one woman, we help one family and one community.”