A benefit paddle party for Cierra Kephart of Clearfield will be held Sunday, July 12 at St. Barbara’s Social Hall, Houtzdale. Funds raised through the event will be used to pay travel and treatment expenses for Kephart who has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder.

HOUTZDALE — A benefit paddle party will be held Sunday, July 12 from 1-4 p.m. at St. Barbara’s Parish Hall, Houtzdale.

Monies raised will benefit Cierra Kephart of Clearfield. Kephart, 23, was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder –a degenerative nerve disease. Kephart said she began having symptoms at age 3 and was diagnosed at age 8.

“I have CMT2A. I have nerve damage in both my hands and feet,” Kephart said.

Kephart said funds raised at the paddle party will pay for travel expenses for her to make a trip to Iowa to meet a neurology specialist and for costs related to her treatment.

While she is in Iowa, Kephart said she will be tested to determine how far along she is in the disease’s progression. The test results may also be used to help others who have the disease. Kephart said there is currently no cure for the Charcot-Marie-Tooth and treatment will be used to help her manage her symptoms.

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“Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is not spoken of enough. I hope to become an advocate for this area and surrounding ones,” Kephart explained.

Admission to the paddle party is $5 per person. The cost for paddles is $1 each. There will also be a 50/50 raffle, a basket auction and refreshments will be available for purchase. Those wearing the t-shirt they purchased in support of Kephart or a dark blue t-shirt which is the color of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disability ribbon will be eligible for the door prize.

Kephart said donations are still being accepted for the basket auction and for the event. Baskets and donations may be dropped off at Kim Ludwig’s home at 1072 Hannah St., Houtzdale or at Kephart’s house at 621 Arrowhead Way, Clearfield. For additional information Ludwig may be reached at 592-2184. Kephart is available at 857-1623.

Kephart said, “Kim has been a huge help in organizing this benefit. She, my Mom Nancy Syktich and her fiance Lance Tibbens have been a huge support to me.”

Additional information is on her Facebook page under Cierra Joelle.