Benefit concert planned for rare disorder

By Bart Moss

For the FCT

May 12, 2002 was just like any other ordinary day for Randy Pike. He was 29 years old and in the middle of starting a career and a family. He had been having some pretty bad headaches and body aches but just chalked it up to migraines and getting older.

Then it hit. A massive headache; loss of eyesight; inability to move his left side.

Randy Pike’s life would never be the same again. He had just suffered a massive stroke. It would be the first of four strokes, two heart attacks and fifty blood clots.

“I had no idea what was going on,” said Pike of his first stroke. “I thought I was just having a very, very bad headache.”

When Pike was told he had a massive stroke he was shocked.

“I thought, that’s not possible, I’m too young to have a stroke,” he said.

The doctors were not giving him much of a chance to live. And, if he did live, it wouldn’t be for long.

“Each doctor that saw me said I only had three to five years left,” Pike said.

So, why was this happening to Randy Pike at such a young age?  Unbeknownst to Pike, he was suffering from a rare genetic condition called Protein S Deficiency.

Protein S Deficiency is an auto-immune disorder that affects only one in 500,000 people. Protein S is made in the bone marrow and the lack of it can make the blood really thick. A Pike put it, “thick as molasses.”

The thickness of the blood makes it easy for clots to form causing strokes and heart attacks and many other physical symptoms.

The only hospitals that do research on Proteins S Deficiency are the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins. Because all of the more common diseases such as cancer and heart disease most of the research money is directed toward them.

Pike and his wife, Shannon Bowen Pike, are organizing a fundraiser to raise awareness of Protein S Deficiency and raise money to help combat the disease.

The fundraiser will be a gospel singing on Saturday, March 22 at Calvary Baptist Church in Russellville. The concert will be headlined by the Kingsmen Quartet from Asheville, North Carolina. The concert will also feature the groups New Ground from Scottsboro, His Song (led by Red Bay native Dennis Humphries), and the local Franklin County group Purpose.

Admission will be $10 at the door. No tickets are being sold.  All proceeds will go to the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins Hospital to aid in Protein S Deficiency research. The doors will open at 6 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7 p.m.

“This is probably not going to help me,” said Pike, “but, maybe it will my son or grandchildren one day or anyone else who suffers from this terrible disease.”

 

Editor’s note: Just hours after being interviewed for this article, Pike found himself in the emergency room again with heart problems. He remains in Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital in Florence with a 4-centimeter thoracic aortic aneurysm. The benefit is still scheduled to take place as planned.

Franklin County

Republican primary run-off election for county commission seats takes place April 16

News

Historic Roxy Theatre celebrates 75th Anniversary with upcoming entertainment

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Mark Dunbar

Franklin County

Franklin County makes seven drug trafficking arrests

Galleries

Why Knot car show cruises into downtown Russellville

News

Get free weather radio at VFDs

Franklin County

PCHS FBLA hosts Little Miss Dream Girl Pageant

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Johnnie Pounders

Features

Sam Warf: From Tennessee to the White House and beyond

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Mousey Brown

News

Russellville First Baptist Church receives historical marker

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Meeting a higher standard – Russellville High School JROTC

News

RCS BOE announces new superintendent  

News

Miss Dream Girl Pageant names winners

Franklin County

First Metro Bank hosts FAME Girls’ Ranch donation drive

News

PCHS holds annual Shelby Grissom Memorial Fashion Show

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: VFW Post 5184 – ‘No One Does More For Veterans’

Features

Supporting students’ futures

Features

Red Bay Garden Club discusses amaryllis planting

Franklin County

UA announces local students for fall 2023 President’s, Dean’s, graduation lists

News

School news

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Troy Oliver

Franklin County

Appropriations bill passes, allots more than $3 million for new Russellville library/multipurpose center 

Franklin County

Franklin County Cattlemen’s Association names Cattleman of the Year 

x