Auction, BBQ in works for ill reporter

John Braese (File photo) John Braese (File photo)

Friends from throughout the community are planning a fundraiser to help John Braese and his family meet expenses as he remains hospitalized, battling critical illness from persistent infections.

Braese, news and sports reporter at the Malheur Enterprise, came down with influenza in early March, but his illness became complicated by several more serious infections and conditions. He has been in intensive care at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise for a little over a month.

His wife Robin has been at his side through the ordeal, unable to work. The couple live in Vale and have a son, Trenton, 8.

Supporters hope to raise money to help the family with living expenses as the medical crisis continues.

Organizers are planning a barbecue and auction for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26, at the Vale Fire Hall.

Individuals and businesses are asked to donate items or services for the auction. Donations are being collected at the Enterprise office, 289 A St. W. in Vale, or people can contact Bobbi Buttice at 541-473-3900.

For more information people also can contact Lynn Findley, Brian Wolfe, Bonnie Westerberg or any other member of the planning committee.

The group has set up a donation account at U.S. Bank. People wanting to contribute can ask for the John Braese Benefit Fund. In addition, Robin said her sister has set up a GoFundMe account online.

Robin said the outpouring of support and prayers from people in the community has been overwhelming.

“I’m very grateful, and humbled by all the people who have called and reached out,” she said.

People can get updates on John’s condition on Facebook, through both his and her pages.

Robin said Tuesday that John is showing more spark with each small step toward recovery, although he is frustrated by the situation.

Doctors are still working to get the respiratory infection under control and get him to breathe on his own consistently after being on a ventilator for so long.

She said the plan is to transfer him to Southwest Hospital, a rehabilitation facility – this week, if his condition allows.