Mike Gimmeson will likely never forget the time his son had to be airlifted by helicopter out of a Crandall area campground, the boy suffering from a seizure.
“Sometimes (seizures) don’t stop without emergency intervention,” Gimmeson said.
His son Sylvan Gimmeson, 7, has epilepsy and suffers from recurrent seizures. Although it was one of the most dramatic scenarios Mike and his wife Taylor Kuharske have had to go through due to their son’s condition, it was a situation that has replayed itself many times over the course of their young boy’s life.
In order to be able to better manage Sylvan’s epilepsy and better predict his seizures, Mike and Taylor will be hosting a Songs for Sylvan fundraiser Friday night at Olive Glenn Golf Course, with musical entertainment provided by Jalan Crossland and Hunter Hicks.
Gimmeson said the primary reason for the fundraiser is to purchase a $10,000 neurofeedback system, which would allow Sylvan’s brain waves to be monitored from home, instead of having to take frequent trips to Billings, where his brain activity can only be analyzed in limited, 30 minute appointments.
“Most of these expenses are not covered by health insurance and have created an enormous financial burden for our family,” Gimmeson wrote on Facebook.
The machine measures brain waves and electrical activity, sending positive and negative feedback to the brain in an attempt to teach it self-regulation.
“If there’s an abnormality it puts (the brain) back on track,” Gimmeson said. “We’ve had about 10 sessions with it and have had really good success.”
After traditional medicine failed to prevent Sylvan from suffering seizures, along with causing horrible side effects, Mike and Taylor decided to seek out alternative solutions for their son.
“About 33 percent of epileptics don’t respond to epileptic drugs,” Gimmeson said. “More drugs don’t mean more success.”
They have pursued a number of different alternative medical channels such as cannabidiol oil and heliobiology, a science which studies the interaction of human life and solar storms.
But for parents with an intelligent, growing child, putting up with seizures that can last up to two hours on a “once in awhile” basis is not an acceptable solution.
“As he gets older and that continues, rates really go up for mortality,” Gimmeson said.
At this time the home neurofeedback system seems to be the Gimmeson’s best chance for a long term solution.
“We’re already having a huge success with that,” Gimmeson said.
The event at the Stampede Bar and Grill which will run 4 p.m.-11 p.m. with a taco bar, beer from WYOld West Brewing Company, putting and driving games, and a bouncy house. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students and $50 for the entire family.
Mike and Taylor will also be giving a presentation on heliobiology.
The community has already raised $1,035 for Sylvan’s cause. To donate online, visit Songs for Sylvan on Facebook.