Concert benefits Grand Junction teen with brain tumor
WHAT: Benefit concert for Rachelle Jahnke
WHEN: Friday, April 11, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Canyonview Vineyard Church, 736 24 1/2 Road, Grand Junction
COST: Free, donations are encouraged
A circle of friends have joined together to host an event for one of their closest friends, Rachelle Jahnke, a 17 year old who recently found a cystic tumor in her pineal region of her brain. Her mom, Candace Jahnke, said this particular tumor isn’t very common and “it’s a big deal.”
The close-knit group of eight choir friends will host a benefit concert titled “I Am In Need of Music” on Friday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m. The show is set for Canyonview Vineyard Church, located at 736 24 1/2 Road in Grand Junction. A live auction and reception will follow, which includes auction items like prom dresses, Colorado Rockies tickets and a seven-day trip to Saint Lucia.
Admission is free, but donations are encouraged to help with the financial burden from medical bills for Rachelle Jahnke.
“She is such a beautiful person inside and out,” said McKenna Hiler, a friend and event organizer. “It’s hard to watch her go through this, but she has been so strong the whole time.”
Hiler met Rachelle Jahnke at Grand Junction High School two years ago in choir and became close with her during a production of Grease.
“I’m willing to do whatever it takes for her to have a chance of being normal again,” Hiler said. “I can’t fix her, but I can help ease the burden and show her we support her through this tough time.”
According to Rachelle Jahnke’s GoFundMe.com page, medical issues started two years ago when she began experiencing memory-loss issues in school. Rather than getting better, her health rapidly declined.
“She started experiencing fatigue, reading and writing difficulty, vision issues, emotional issues,” a news release said. “Her balance and hearing were effected and she started having seizures, and extreme headaches that never go away. It became so bad that Jahnke had to take a medical leave from school.”
After having an MRI, doctors found a small tumor in her brain. Dr. Dong Kim, a world-renowned neurosurgeon, looked at Rachelle Jahnke’s history and advised surgery.
Rachelle and Candace Jahnke will head to Houston for at least three weeks starting on April 22 for invasive brain surgery.
Money raised from the GoFundMe.com page and the event will go towards medical bills, flights to Houston and lodging after surgery.
“Earning money is second and she is really wanting to help other people and others who are struggling with the same thing,” Candace Jahnke said.
Rachelle will donate her hair before the surgery to help others, her mom added, as her head will be shaved for the surgery.
According to the GoFundMe website: “The Jahnkes are thankful for any financial contributions, but ask for prayers first. [Rachelle] Jahnke’s dream is to go to college on a performing arts scholarship.”
To learn more, visit http://www.gofundme.com/rachellejahnke.
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