Union family raises funds to pay for cutting edge treatment for son with cerebral palsy

A special Bingo Night will be held in Portland Friday, Dec. 13, to help a union family raise money needed to pay for cutting edge stem cell injection therapy for their young son with cerebral palsy.

The Tripletts
The Triplett family — Silvia, Gabe and Oscar.

Oscar Triplett was born to Sylvia and Gabriel Triplett on Oct. 11, 2012. A difficult 16 hours of labor caused a lack of oxygen to Oscar’s brain. As a result, he suffered global brain damage and has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

The family spent the first month of his life in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

The Triplett’s come from a strong union family. Gabe is a member of Carpenters Local 156. Silvia is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, Gabe’s father, Steve Triplett, is a member of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555, and his step-father, Kenny Brown, is with Operating Engineers Local 701.

Oscar has come a long way from his days in the NICU.  He has been at home  for over a year. He can breathe on his own, eat on his own, and is currently being weaned off his seizure medication.

But Oscar still has a long road ahead of him.

Luckily, neuroscientists are beginning to understand more about neuroplasticity and the possibility for cell growth in the brain. A cutting edge treatment for kids like Oscar provides hope. It is called umbilical cord stem cell infusion. It is done all over the world, but is still in the FDA trial period in the United States. For that reason, the treatment isn’t covered by the family’s health insurance plan.

And the treatment isn’t cheap.

The Tripletts need to raise $20,000 in order to take Oscar to Panama to receive the stem cells, then to California to do a week of post treatment intensive therapy. They’ve raised over $10,000 through family, friends, co-workers and a donation of almost $3,500 from the delegates of the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters. But they still have a ways to go.

On Dec, 13, from 7 to 10 p.m., the Triplett family and St. Charles Parish will hold a special Bingo Night to raise funds for the treatment. There will be food, beer, popcorn, cotton candy, soda and “Oscar T-shirts” for sale.  There also will be a wine pull and a kids’ corner. Bingo cards will be $1, and every game will be a 50/50 split between Oscar and the winner.

St. Charles Parish is located at  5310 NE 42nd Ave., Portland.

Here for more about Oscar’s story, stem cell therapy, and other ways to donate

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