Staff Report

 

Bloomingdale Library Survivor Queena’s amazing journey has inspired the community to pull together and has been a source of inspiration on survival. Friday, April 24 will mark the seven year anniversary. Two days prior to that, Queena will celebrate her 25th birthday. The family, along with tremendous support from the community, has been gearing up for this celebratory month with three fundraisers.

On Saturday, April 11 from 1-3 p.m. a Zumbathon birthday bash will be held at Brickhouse Cardio Club, 1263 Kingsway Rd. in Brandon. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $10 plus processing fee at letsdance4queena.eventbrite.com or $15 at the door. There will be raffles, basket drawings, and specialty vendors. All proceeds will be donated to Queena’s medical fund to help cover home care, therapy, and medical costs. Contact Zumba instructor Heather Rollert at letsdance4queena@gmail.com for more information or to help with basket donations.

The community is invited to attend Queena’s birthday party fundraiser at Keel & Curley Winery on Saturday, April 18 from 12 Noon-3 p.m. Enjoy live music and great food. Admission is free; however Queena’s family will conduct live and silent auctions, raffles, and T-shirt sales to raise additional funds. An optional winery tour and tasting will be offered at 3 p.m. for $10 per person with all proceeds benefitting Queena. Keel & Curley Winery is located at 5210 W. Thonotosassa Rd. in Plant City. Contact Anna Vuong at avvuong@gmail.com or call 956-3822 for more information on donating food, cake, soft drinks, water and auction and raffle items.

NAAlley.com, a Website dedicated to new adult fiction, will host an industry-wide silent auction from Tuesday to Thursday, April 28-30, “The Quest for Queena.”

The NA Alley Team will auction an assortment of goods and services geared toward readers and writers via www.NAAlley.com. Skype consultations will be available to the highest bidder.  Tampa native and author, PK Hrezo serves as an ambassador on the NA Alley Team. Hrezo, along with Queena’s mom, are currently working on a memoir Mended By Love, documenting Queena’s brave journey. It set to be released next spring. Contact PK Hrezo at Pakazo77@gmail.com for more information.

Queena bravely survived a life-changing attack in 2008 that left her unable to see, talk or eat on her own. According to her sister, Anna Vuong, “Her therapists have been noticing a marked improvement in her abilities recently. She now controls her head movements and voluntary movements, produces more vocalizations and attempts at words, and responds with improved visual tracking and verbal comprehension. Her most exciting development though is her ability to now stand with assistance and kick a soccer ball.”

The community can follow Queena’s progress at JoinQueena.com.  Medicaid covers only $1,500 per year for physical therapy and speech therapy, while nearly $70,000 is required annually for all of the treatments that have helped Queena make such progress. These additional expenses are funded through the generosity of the community.