I received a phone call from a young lady named Ashley about something special she needs for her little boy.

Parker Sweeney
Ashley Sweeney

His name is Parker Sweeney, from Mechanicville. Back in January, when he was six months old, he was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation. Chiari Malformation, according to conquerchiari.org, is "a serious neurological disorder where the bottom part of the brain, the cerebellum, descends out of the skull and crowds the spinal cord, putting pressure on both the brain and spine and causing many symptoms." Parker has also been diagnosed with the start of syrinx and hydrocephalus.

In a newsletter, Ashley told me that Parker will go through a series of surgeries on the brain and spine throughout his life time to relieve symptoms. This condition is very rare for a child at his age to be diagnosed. Parker has had a series of tests including an MRI, a lot for a little baby.

A couple of friends of Ashley and me, Amanda and Matt Byers, got involved and I’m so glad that I can at least do this story for Parker and his family. A family friendly fundraiser has been put together to help offset some of the expenses the family will incur over Parker’s lifetime. The event will take place at Upstate Concert Hall, in Clifton Park, on Sunday, June 1, starting at 1:00 p.m. There will live music provided by The Matt Byers Band, Kim Buckley And Soul Funktion and Cryin’ Out Loud - the WGNA house band. You’ll be able to get tickets, which are $20.00, at the door or get them ahead of time through email at ParkerSweeneyConquersChiari@yahoo.com. There has also been an online fundraiser set up to help this little boy and his family right here in the Albany area.

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