PRINCETON — As a child, Ashleigh Pressy always felt tired and worn out, no matter what she was doing.
Her mother, Rhonda Ellis of Princeton, assumed it was just mono going around the school or some kind of bug kids catch. The exhaustion became such a burden, Pressy was taken out of school at Bureau Valley High School and had to be home-schooled.
Nothing much changed until in 2008, when Pressy began losing feeling on her right side and found it difficult to hang on to things.
She finally saw a local doctor who said she had a bleeding blood tumor, and he sent her to a specialist in Peoria.
The specialist performed a spinal tap, and it was determined she had multiple sclerosis.
Being diagnosed with a non-curable disease became a life-alternating situation for Pressy and her family members. As her condition worsened, she was forced to hold-off on a wedding she had been planning with her longtime boyfriend. She also had to be moved into her grandparents’ home, where she could be cared for on a 24/7 basis.
At age 27, Pressy lost movement on the left side of her body, and she was bound to a wheelchair most of the time.
Learning to get around in a wheelchair and having to take advantage of handicapped accessible options has been something Pressy has forced to get used to throughout the years.
She now lives with her boyfriend in Princeton in a house that is difficult to get around in using a wheelchair. While Pressy can do little things here and there by using the right-side of her body, she is bound to a wheelchair most of the time.
Knowing the importance of Pressy’s situation and seeing the need to help make her home a little more comfortable for her limitations and wheelchair use, her family and friends have planned a benefit to help raise proceeds that will be used to purchase handicapped accessible items for her home. A percentage of the proceeds will also be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The benefit is set for Oct. 26 at the Princeton Elks Lodge. A bags tournament will be held at 1 p.m. The cost to play is $15 per person. There will be a random draw for partners with a 50/50 payout.
A taco buffet will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. The cost is $10 per person to eat. There will also be a raffle, 50/50, silent and live auctions. The live auction begins at 6 p.m.
Ellis said there are plenty of great items to bid on.
“People just from everywhere have been donating like crazy. It’s been really nice,” she said.
Just to name a few auction items: A patio heater, patio set, an outdoor grill, four bags of seed corn, a couple coolers, several Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers items and a football signed by three hall of famers, including Mark Van Eeghen of the Oakland Raiders, Jimmy Johnson of the San Francisco 49ers and Willie Wood of the Green Bay Packers.
Ellis said anybody interested in attending the benefit is more than welcome to come out, enjoy the company, have a great time and participate in a worthy cause.
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