Benefit Concert In Honor of Kelsey Daniel
by Meagan Cole
“On November 16th, I seized during a musical at Roanoke College. I was taken by ambulance to Lewis Gale ER where a MRI showed a spot on the right side of my brain. After further discussion with [the] doctors, it was decided that surgery was necessary. I transferred to Johnston Willis on November 19th where I met with neurosurgeons. It was unknown what exactly the spot was but hypothesized that it was a tumor sitting on my motor strip for the left foot and ankle. I progressively began to lose strength in my left leg and was not able to wiggle my toes or lift my left ankle. On November 24th, at 7am, I was taken to start the surgery. I remember talking sports with my neurosurgeon (a Steelers fan) right before I was put under. When I woke up, it was late Saturday, and I was still in shock. The mental comprehension and acceptance of having brain surgery is still a mystery to me. There is relatively no pain, [yet] I have 10 screws and a titanium plate up there now. Within 2 days after surgery, I could wiggle my toes and motor function was returning in my ankle and foot. The third day, I had almost full strength back in my foot and, when I left the hospital on Wednesday, Nov 28th, I could walk without a cane or any support.”
That was an excerpt from Kelsey Daniel â€˜12 posted one week after she endured brain surgery. The people who attended the Friday night performance of last semester’s “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” have not likely forgotten how the show was briefly stopped due to an emergency in the audience. The beloved Fine Arts alumna became unresponsive after a series of seizures that continued upon her arrival at the hospital. Medical tests and an MRI revealed the cause to be a tumor. Luckily, it was still early enough to operate on without difficulty, but the costs quickly added up for her family.
Kelsey put into perspective how unexpected the blow was. Having to pay off student loans is one thing, but trying to come up with the money to pay for her brain surgery is another thing entirely. “It was freak event that changed my life forever. We all expect debt after graduating college, but I never could have prepared for the financial burden of my surgery.” Now that Kelsey’s prayers for a life without tumors have been answered, Mu Beta Psi is helping to answer her prayers for spare change. The music fraternity has banded together to host a benefit concert in order to raise money for Kelsey’s survival story.
Shannon Mace, a Sophomore History major as well as the Treasurer and Chair of Fundraising for the music fraternity, explains why Mu Beta Psi is putting on the show out of the goodness of their hearts, “We want to raise money for Kelsey because she’s our brother, and that’s just what brotherhood is about. When Kelsey first had to go to the hospital, we were all really worried, and we knew that we wanted to do something. Since we are a music service fraternity, a benefit concert just seemed like the most fitting thing to do. Our goal in all of this is to raise enough money to put a good dent in her hospital bills.”
Kelsey finds the charity very moving, “To know that Mu Beta Psi and the Roanoke College community still supports me even after I have graduated means the world to me. Roanoke was and still is my home away from home and I am honored to have been a part of Mu Beta Psi and many other groups on campus.”
The event is open to the public for those who want to support by performing and for those who’d rather show their support by simply remaining in the audience. Attendance is $2.00, but larger donations are welcome as the money will be going to Kelsey’s family. Shannon says, “The concert will feature the campus A-Capella groups, members of RCC, Oriana, members of the Jazz and Wind ensemble, some brothers of Mu Beta Psi, and additional Roanoke College students.” The night of music will be held on April 22nd at 7 PM in the Atrium Chapel in honor of Kelsey.