Benefit show will help ESHS graduate

Friday, October 17, 2014
Carrie Dunham

Joyce Dunham is determined to bring her daughter, Carrie Dunham, back to the United States to be treated for Cushing's Disease. To help with that cause, Joyce Dunham will host a special music show Tuesday, Oct. 21, at Pine Mountain Theater in Eureka Springs.

A donation fund has been set up at Arvest Bank, and a collection jar has been placed at Hart's Family Center in Eureka Springs, where Carrie Dunham worked while she was a student at Eureka Springs High School.

Carrie, who has lived in Germany for the past four years, suffers from Cushing's Disease as well as a brain tumor and other illnesses related to the tumor.

Carrie Dunham moved to Germany to live with Carston-Jorge Alexander Knopf. While she is married to Knopf in Germany, her marriage has yet to be recognized in the United States. She and Knopf live with their two children, 9-year-old Madelyn Sewell and 5-year-old Samantha Knopf, .

Carrie has found it difficult to get medical treatment in Germany. When she recently had a kidney stone, Joyce Dunham said, doctors in a German hospital kept her for nine days but did not run any tests on her because they did not have access to equipment such as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine. Knopf was forced to stay home with the kids during Dunham's hospital stay and lost his job, resulting in more financial strain for the family.

"I talked to her and told her she needed to go to a larger hospital," Joyce Dunham said.

Her daughter did, walking four miles round-trip with kidney stones and a fever to get better treatment. Once she got to the hospital, Carrie Dunham was told that she needed to be admitted but that there was no room for her.

"It's just been one issue after the other. She's in a situation where she can't function," Joyce Dunham said, explaining that her daughter's tumor has caused several illnesses including severe emotional distress.

Joyce Dunham said her daughter has been plagued by illness since she was 9 years old. When she was 14 , Carrie was diagnosed with thyroid problems. When she was 16, she had to have her appendix removed.

Joyce Dunham said the discovery of the tumor illuminated the reason for her daughter's illness.

"It wasn't until after all this occurred and she kept having problems that they figured out she had this tumor," Joyce Dunham said.

Ticket prices for Tuesday's show at the Pine Mountain Theater have been reduced to $10 per person. All proceeds will go to medical and travel expenses for Dunham and her two children; her husband, who is in the last stage of approval with immigration, will pay for his own travel.

Joyce Dunham said she has had positive reception to the event, with people coming all the way from Springdale and Farmington.

She urged everyone to come to the event, explaining all the stress her daughter is under in Germany.

"It is wearing on her emotions to not be able to get the help she needs there," Joyce Dunham said. "The Cushing's Disease causes many problems along with depression. She's definitely had all the above, and being away from her family, she has no help over there."

For more information on how to help Carrie Dunham, contact Arvest Bank or Pine Mountain Theater.

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