By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (September 23, 2021) – Three weeks ago, the Avila family started a garage sale campaign to raise money for their disabled daughter Teresa, known by many as “Super Teci.” This weekend’s three-day sale marks the end of their fundraising campaign, and the family is hoping to raise the $2,000 they still need to send Teci to Arizona for a stem cell transplant.
When she was three, Teci (pronounced “Tessie”) choked while eating a grape and was unresponsive for 19 minutes before Lansing paramedics were able to restore her heartbeat. The miracle revival left her paralyzed and unable to speak.
In the years since, her condition has improved through the use of different types of therapy, specialized education, and stem cell transplants.
Stem cell transplant
Prior to her first stem cell transplant in January of this year, Teci would experience multiple muscle spasms per week, said her mom Elizabeth Avila.
“Teci gets severe total body muscle spasms that would last eight hours at a time. … Imagine a cramp in your calf or a Charley horse, but all over your body. That is the pain my baby had to go through at least three to four times a week,” Avila said.
After Teci’s stem cell transplant, Avila said she didn’t have a muscle spasm for four months. She also said Teci’s physical strength improved, as well as her vision and hearing.
“She became a whole different little girl,” Avila said.
Teci had a major hip surgery in June, which has caused her to regress somewhat in her areas of improvement, but Avila hopes that another stem cell treatment will help her to continue to grow.
She explained the stem cell transplant will help to break down scar tissue in Teci’s brain: “Breaking down the scar tissue that has built up from her initial injury is key in order for her to be able to receive and take in new information that we are trying to teach.”
An expensive trip
Through online fundraising and this year’s garage sale, the Avila family has raised significant funds for the transplant, which will require the family to drive to Arizona and stay there for a few days.
$2,000 is what separates the family from their financial goal for the trip, which includes expenses for the treatment, transportation, food, and accommodations near the medical center in Surprise, Arizona.
“It takes us four days to get there and four days back plus a few days after treatment to make sure she doesn’t have a negative reaction,” Avila said. “We are so excited to be going back for her November 8th appointment.”
The garage sale at 3112 190th Street in Lansing runs Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. In addition to shoppers, in-person donations are also welcome.
Supporters can follow Teci on Facebook at Super Teci.
- More than a garage sale: Fundraiser for ‘Super Teci’ this weekend (September 2, 2021)