Greene Community to Hold Benefit 5K for Child with Epilepsy
The community is rallying to raise money for a Greene County six-year-old who may need brain surgery for her epilepsy. Shiloh Thompson's neighbors are holding a 5K race Saturday to help with the family's expenses.
Shiloh Thompson is getting ready for a big trip to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where doctors will determine whether she needs brain surgery for her condition. Her family says they are doing what they can to let her enjoy life like any other six-year-old - and now their community is stepping up to help.
"She's kind of a little bit of a homebody. She says when she grows up she wants to stay in the basement, live with mommy and do art work," said Scott Thompson, Shiloh's father.
Scott says his daughter is as small, sweet, and social as any six-year-old can be - but she suffers from a serious condition that has become a constant worry for her family.
"She has seizures in about the first hour and a half of her sleep. She always has them when she's sleeping. The first one she had was at daycare during naptime and then that same night she had another one," said Scott.
Scott and his wife take turns sleeping with Shiloh every night - and staying up to monitor her epilepsy.
"She can have a seizure - anything from just facial twitches for 10-15 seconds to kind of whole half body twitching for a few minutes," said Scott.
About two months ago, doctors at University of Virginia Medical Center told the Thompsons that brain surgery is a very real possibility.
Scott said, "They found that she was having abnormal brain activity all the time. So between two and four spikes every 10 seconds, so her brain never gets a break from the seizure activity."
Now their neighbors in the Wexford community are holding a benefit 5K to help the family cover travel and medical expenses - including a seizure assistance dog for Shiloh.
The Thompsons have already secured $13,000 for the dog through a group called 4 Paws for Ability. It will take about a year to train the pet to help Shiloh.
"It's about neighbors helping neighbors and most of us in this neighborhood have small children, so we wanted to do what we could - we're thinking what if this was us, what would we want someone to do?," said Melanie Shattan, race director and neighbor.
Scott says it's an act of kindness that will hopefully help Shiloh live a more normal life.
"It's just hard to say how much we appreciate it - all my neighbors doing this 5K race. They've put a lot of work into this and it means a lot to us," said Scott.
The benefit 5K for Shiloh Thompson starts Saturday morning at 8 a.m. in the Wexford subdivision in Ruckersville. Runners can register in-person before the race between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. for $30. Spring Hill Road will be closed until the last person crosses the finish line.
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