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‘Bringing Brad Home’

Fundraiser for Powell man March 2

The Powell community is once again coming together to help a friend and neighbor in need.

Brad McMillin has had ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, for three years. On Jan. 1 he was sent to Billings for pneumonia and is now on a ventilator. McMillin spent 33 days at the hospital and five days at his son’s house in Bridger, Mont., before being re-admitted to the hospital from complications. On Feb. 8, his family’s prayers were answered and McMillin was able to come home to Powell.

 

Alongside his wife, Diane, family members are providing support in shifts 24/7. Insurance allows for CNA and nursing help minimally throughout the week. 

“As things get more difficult, we are going to need to hire more medical support,” said Stacey Cannon, his sister.

To help McMillin and his family with medical costs and related expenses, residents are organizing a fundraiser March 2 (see related story below).

Expenses have added up through managing Brad’s care (purchasing a van with a lift, remodeling the bathroom, building a ramp, living in Billings for a month,) plus medical costs.

It was an uphill battle to get McMillin home because of regulations with the ventilator. 

“But just when we thought we’d never get him home, God opened a door and Brad got the OK to come home,” said Cannon.

Family members were trained then on ventilator care and patient care in Billings. The McMillins are so thankful to be back home in Powell, Cannon said.

“Faith and family help people get through such storms, and we have been blessed with both,” Cannon said.

The disease has not taken away McMillin’s sense of humor or his spirit, she added. He still enjoys good interaction and humor with his family and friends and gives them a big smile every night before he goes to sleep.

“He has blessed us with his sense of humor,” Cannon said. “He has been an amazing sport from the initial diagnosis of the disease to now, a much better sport than the rest of us.

“We feel God has more work for Brad to do, and we will take care of him as long as he needs it,” she said. “We are all honored to help take care of him.”

Fundraiser includes chili cook-off, entertainment, auction

The “Bringing Brad Home” fundraiser at the Park County Fairgrounds Saturday, March 2, is jam-packed with events throughout the day.

The event costs $8 for adults and $4 for kids 10 and under, and all proceeds go toward Brad McMillin and his family.

Doors open at 9 a.m., and cooking will start at 11 a.m. for the “Chili Cook-Off with a Cinnamon Twist.” The deadline for entries is Wednesday, Feb. 27.

So far, 16 teams have committed to the cook-off, but there’s room for more.

Cooks must complete their entries by 3 p.m., and folks can start tasting entires at 3:30 p.m.

“We are encouraging everyone to come out for the public tasting of the chili entries and cinnamon rolls/twists entries, then cast their vote for their favorite in the ‘People’s Choice Award,’ while supporting an amazing man and his wonderful family,” said Kelly Laughlin, an organizer of the event. “Everyone will have to be careful and ration themselves if they’re wanting to taste all the entries, as we believe no one will go away hungry.”

Beverages also will be available, and a beer garden opens at noon.

Winners in the cook-off will be announced that evening.

“The winners of the chili cook-off will receive bragging rights and a waived entry into the annual Cody Elk’s Chili Cook-off in June,” Laughlin said.

Del Cannon provides entertainment from 2-4:30 p.m., and Hurricane Mesa follows from 5-6 p.m., and then again after the live auction.

The live auction begins around 6 p.m. Silent auction tables will be open all day.

As the fundraiser approaches, “we have had great response,” Laughlin said. “Everyone is very excited about the event, and especially helping Brad and his family. The community has once again come together with open arms.”

Entry forms and fees, as well as any items for the auctions, can be dropped off at Polecat Printery, 115 E. North St., or call 307-202-0853. Items and entry forms can be picked up in the Cody area.

Businesses can pay a $25 entry fee to sponsor a team, then decorate the team’s booth with their advertising.

Related fundraising efforts also are under way. Brian and Erin Beavers will haul donated scrap metal, aluminum, old cars, appliances or other metal. Proceeds from the recycled metal will be given to the McMillin family. To make a donation of metal for recycling, call 307-899-2413.

TJ’s Portrait Studio will take appointments for a special sitting fee, and the fees collected will be donated to the McMillins. Included for that fee will be a disc with all photos and the copyright privileges for full use. Call TJ’s at 754-8188 to schedule an appointment.

Cash donations for the McMillin family can be deposited at First Bank of Wyoming, Brad McMillin Medical Fund. Secure online donations can be made at www.giveforward.com/bringingbradhome.

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