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AUBURN - In the course of a relatively short span of months, Debbie Minturn Delany has experienced a difficult series of emotions.

In June, Delany said she suffered from headaches, a condition she usually doesn't have.

"It was bad enough that I went to the hospital," Minturn said. "I thought I had a migraine."

While her symptoms resembled those of a migraine, her doctors suggested she have an MRI. This showed Delany had a condition called hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.

Delany explained the condition caused two abscesses on her brain.

One of these abscesses cut off some nerves causing Minturn to lose her peripheral vision on her left side.

As soon as her doctors recognized the condition, Delany underwent crucial surgery.

"It happened when my daughter was getting ready to graduate," Delany said. "The doctors let me go home for her graduation party but I was back at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. having emergency surgery."

In the months following her surgery, Delany has been unable to work, but is grateful she is still here.

"It went from the point of being life threatening," Delany said. "I am still in the recovery phase, but I am still here. I have had to learn how to do a lot of things, but I am grateful to have a lot of support from this community and from friends and family."

On Sunday afternoon at the Ukrainian National Club, friends and family gathered to show support for Delany with a fundraiser.

The event, hosted by Perform 4 Purpose, was a moving experience for Delany.

"It is wonderful," Delany said. "I am extremely grateful for all of this support."

Jen VanArsdale, event coordinator, said she along with her father, Jim VanArsdale, decided to create Perform 4 Purpose to help with local events like this.

She said the intent is to bring together young musicians to perform in fundraisers for worthy causes.

"It gives the youth an opportunity to perform," VanArsdale said. "And it helps raise money for those in need."

VanArsdale said that her father, who runs the Jim VanArsdale Guitar School, has been involved in fundraising for some time and recently decided it was time to take their efforts to the next level.

"Whenever he would have a recital," VanArsdale said. "We'd take donations and give the money to different causes and we decided that there was more we could do."

Along with a pasta dinner and numerous raffle prizes donated by a variety of local merchants, the event also featured a host of young musicians.

VanArsdale said that Delany's daughter plays on a softball team coached by her father and they decided that for their first large event, Minturn was just the person they wanted to help.

"We are really happy to be able to do this," VanArsdale said. "Seeing all of these people here in support of Debbie and her family is really great."

As friends and supporters came in, Delany was moved by all the well wishes.

"I am really overwhelmed," she said.

"As soon as people heard, I was amazed by all the cards and everything that I started to get. This is just amazing and I am so grateful."


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