Wrestling show held for 4-year-old girl with rare disease
ANDY LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Pictured being recognized for her bravery during the wrestling show's intermission is Rayne Shellhamer, 4, surrounded by Elite Generation Wrestling staff, volunteers and about a dozen of their professional wrestlers.
Family, friends, community members and about a dozen professional wrestlers with Elite Generation Wrestling (EGW), Lansford, came together in the gym of the Tamaqua Salvation Army to hold a special wrestling show fundraiser recently to help Rayne Shellhamer, a 4-year old girl who was diagnosed in December 2010 with Arnold-Chiari malformation, often simply called Chiari malformation.
Family and friends recently organized an EGW wrestling show to help raise funds required to cover Rayne's accruing medical costs.
Rayne is cared for by her parents Julie and Rodney Leopard, from Tamaqua.
Chiari malformation is an abnormality of the brain that consists of a downward displacement of the cerebellar tonsils through the foramen magnum (the opening at the base of the skull), sometimes causing non-communicating hydrocephalus as a result of blockage of cerebrospinal fluid discharge. The cerebrospinal fluid outflow is caused by phase difference in discharge and penetration of blood in the vasculature of the brain. It can cause headaches, fatigue, muscle weakness in the head and face, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, nausea, impaired coordination, and, in severe cases, paralysis.
Rayne suffers from a majority of these conditions, to include seizures.
Julie stated, "Family and friends, such as Regina and Gene Blaukowitch, are very helpful with assisting me care for Rayne." Rayne, who also has a sister, Madison, 11, routinely takes trips with her family to doctors' appointments and the hospital to treat and care for this malformation.
EGW, who routinely raise donations for different organizations during their monthly wrestling shows, held their June show to benefit Rayne and her family. In addition to the EGW wrestlers, staff and volunteers, family members and friends also helped with the fundraising show. Organizing and assisting during the event were Becky Hartraft and Wendy, Melissa, and Shannon Fredericks, as well as many others. Rayne's immediate family also plans on taking part in the "Conquer Chiari Walk Across America" to be held on September 17 in Philadelphia to spread awareness for the condition. The family is asking anyone to call Julie at (570) 573-2684 to donate or for other ways to help.