Benefit for Brandon Hutsell set for Feb. 18

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-117088128713142.jpg’, ‘Photo provided’, ‘Brandon and Cassie Hutsell with daughter Aubrie.‘);

A young man and his family are hoping for some help from the community to meet a critical medical need.

Brandon Hutsell, 23, recently married, and his wife, Cassie, are residents of Machesney Park. Hutsell had a job in construction but lost it and has been unable to work since a back injury last fall. He desperately needs back surgery as his discs are three-quarters of the way through his spinal cord, and if left untreated, eventually he will be paralyzed. Hutsell was examined by Dr. Morris Soriano, who determined what procedure would be necessary. The surgery, originally scheduled for January, was canceled because the family does not have $30,000—the minimum cost of the operation.

Hutsell and his wife, Cassie, are parents of Aubrie, a 4-year-old girl. Though not as serious as Brandon’s situation, Cassie has her own problems. She is currently in a high-risk pregnancy and has inconclusive seizures. She also cannot work.

Brandon’s aunt, Kelly Cook, is trying to get help for the family by organizing a benefit to be held from noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 18, at Northwest Community Center, 1325 N. Johnston Ave. in Rockford. She told The Rock River Times her nephew was refused help through Public Aid. “His wife is pregnant, and she was able to get a medical card herself, but until the baby is born, they won’t give any more,” said Cook.

The family must raise at least a third of the $30,000 as a down payment before the surgery can be performed.

Tickets for the benefit are $10 each and include a spaghetti dinner with meatballs, salad, bread, beverage and cake. The benefit includes cash prizes, raffles and music. Kelly Cook said, “We are asking people to purchase tickets for dinner, to give this young family a chance. We are requesting anyone who can donate to please do so at the benefit, or call Kelly at (815) 986-8285 or e-mail

From the Feb. 7-13, 2007, issue

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