The friends and family of Micaela Bensko, a local veteran’s advocate and writer who was disabled in a driveway accident, recently set up a fundraiser to help pay for her out of pocket expenses.
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“It’s moving,” said Bensko, “People are so generous and kind.”
The expenses of her care are at least $3,000 a month not counting medical bills. The charity’s goal is to reach $50,000 in the next 121 days, and they are nearly 10 percent of the way there.
In 2011, Bensko was paralyzed in a driveway accident caused by the hatch of her car’s tailgate collapsing on her skull.
“I went to the emergency room and they put a staple in my head,” Bensko said.
Bensko has undergone testing, scans and MRIs. In May 2012 she had an artificial disk replacement in her cervical area, a laminotomy, a microdiscectomy and a bone spur removal.
That summer, she suffered a herniation in her spine, which resulted in additional surgery in the fall.
“Throughout this process my limbs have weakened,” said Bensko, “Due to the trauma to my spinal cord, my neurology is like a hornets nest.”
Overtime Bensko has lost mobility in her left leg, and her right leg is beginning to lose mobility as well.
Bensko uses a wheelchair or an electric scooter for transportation, but is in bed the majority of each day.
Bensko has at least two upcoming surgeries. One of which is an electro spine stimulator implant, a device that sends electrical impulses along the spine to control chronic pain.
“I have had multiple surgeries and endless procedures,” Bensko said.
She also must undergo rhizotomies, a surgery that targets painful nerves in the spine, and she just applied to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. for treatment.
Bensko has been productive despite the difficulties caused by her disability.
“It’s been one of the most creative period of my life,” Bensko said.
Bensko wrote a children’s book called “The Soldier and the Squirrel.” The story is about a wounded soldier that affects the life of a squirrel who lives in his backyard.
“The moral of the story is that life is about making others happy,” Bensko said.
The book is illustrated by Stephanie Orehek and will be published in two months.
Bensko is Vice-President of Rebuilding America's Warriors, which provides free reconstructive surgery to wounded troops returning from war.
Bensko and her husband have four children.
She also writes editorials for hometownstation.com
To donate visit the page for Micaela’s Health Challenge .
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