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Drive-thru dinner helps family struggling to pay costs of treatment
MO4 5-16-09
Mauricio “Mo” Arnaiz, right, finishes his therapy in the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber as his mother Angela holds his hand to comfort him. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin
The hyperbaric chamber sessions that Mauricio Araniz has to undergo aren’t cheap.
At more than $150 each – with several recommended every week by the doctors that are overseeing his rehabilitation – the mounting bills and the slow progress of a long recovery present both the young man and his family with a daunting future.
And the fact that his health insurance company refuses to cover any of the treatments makes the entire situation that much harder for the family to bear.
But if Shelley Kohl gets her way, Araniz – known affectionately to his friends and family as “Mo” – wouldn’t have to worry about a thing.
It was over the Christmas season that Kohl – who was down at Manteca Care and Rehabilitation Center to oversee one of the outreach projects she and husband Chris do every year through their Precision Automotive business – first ran across the former Modesto Junior College basketball player who had suffered traumatic brain damage during a car accident on his way to practice on Nov. 29, 2007.
The woman who hit him head-on had slipped into a diabetic coma, and likely wasn’t even aware her car was drifting into the oncoming lane where it would forever change the life of the athletic and determined Araniz – who had decided he wanted to eventually transfer up to Oregon where he would pursue a life following the word of God.
“There was just something about him in his eyes that told me that he wasn’t going to give up,” Kohl said of her first encounter with Araniz. “He has his family standing by his side and it’s an inspiration to see someone that’s determined to get better.”
Kohl is also determined to help out and get others to join in on the process.
On June 10, Precision Automotive will be hosting a drive-thru community dinner catered by Fagundes Meats that will go to help Araniz cover the cost of the expensive treatments that are so paramount to his recovery.
It’s not the first time that the Kohls have organized a community event like this to help someone in a bind – doing the exact same thing to help pay for the blood transfusions that newborn Sofia Rose Conde needed to battle a rare blood disorder doctors diagnosed her with shortly after entering the world.
Lending a hand, Kohl says, is more than just the right thing to do.
“We’re blessed with each and every day, and this shows how it can all be taken away just like that,” Kohl said. “To be able to help out in any way is an honor, and we’re just hoping that the community will be able to come out and support this cause and allow this young man the chance to get his old life back.”
Some 500 tickets are being printed for the June 10 dinner, and are available for $10 at J&J Printing – located at 130 N. Maple Avenue. For more information about the dinner, or how to make a donation to help the Araniz family, contact Precision Automotive at 239-8266.
To contact Jason Campbell, e-mail, or call (209) 249-3544.