Pistol Creek Catch of the Day played a special concert recently for a 25-year-old Maryville mother facing a debilitating disease.
Although Huntington’s Chorea Disease has robbed Melody Froehlich of her ability to effectively use her muscles, she still could get in on the action with the band during the Sept. 4, show at Southland Books.
Karen Fowler, Froehlich’s aunt and caregiver, said Froehlich and her now 4-year-old daughter, Sierra, enjoyed the show. “She was clapping and smiling and giggling. They handed her some egg shakers, and she shook those and she had a blast,” Fowler said.
Fowler said there is no cure for Huntington’s Chorea Disease. “It’s a neurological disorder that kills the brain cells, and you start losing control of muscles. Everything goes,” she said.
The event was a fundraiser to help pay for Froehlich’s care. “We’ve got dental work scheduled for her in October that is $350 and a majority will go for hiring a private care giver at the home,” Fowler said.
Fowler said response to the benefit concert was very good. “We raised very close to $2,000 that night. Some came in the mail a little before or after, but it was very close to $2,000,” she said. “Then my church, Blount Community Church, almost a week later gave $1,000. That brought it up to $3,000.”
Fowler said her niece’s prognosis wasn’t good. “Melody is continuing to go downhill. Her heath is continuing to decline but she had an absolute blast and so did her daughter,” Fowler said of the show.
Fowler said Froehlich has been receiving care almost around the clock. “It’s been extremely helpful to me,” she said.
This isn’t the first time Fowler has dealt with this disease. Froehlich’s mother passed away from the disease seven year ago, Fowler’s mother died from it when she as 50 and three of Fowler’s siblings have contracted the disease.
“My sister was the first to (die) at 38, and I had a brother pass at 48, and I’ve got a third brother a little further along than Melody. He’s 48, and he’s in a vegetative state,” she said. “Melody is actually third generation I’m seeing with this disease.”
Fowler said since the disease is hereditary, Froehlich’s daughter already has a 50 percent chance of having the disease. “We won’t know until she’s lot older whether she’s afflicted,” Fowler said.
Fowler said the family suspected Froehlich had the disease when she was in her early teens. “She had it, but we didn’t officially know until they made her get tested at 21, and she tested positive. She’s gone downhill. It hits women harder than men because they can bear children,” Fowler said of Froehlich. “It zaps their energy. She’s only 25.”
In the meantime, Fowler and her husband, Brian, have adopted little Sierra.
Fowler said that she enjoyed Pistol Creek’s show on Sept. 4 and so did Sierra. “We’re planning to see them again soon.
Pistol Creek front man Edward Harper said the band wants to make sure they’re helping out in the community. “We’re not just a band, we’re part of the community, and we want to help where we can, whether it is with a cause, agency or person,” he said.