OSWEGO, NY – The Maggie Sue Glenister Wilcox Foundation was formed to fight Eastern Equine Encephalitis. The organization is seeking help from the public, according to Donna Wilcox, Maggie Sue’s aunt.
The Maggie Sue Glenister Wilcox Foundation, is a 501c (3) not-for-profit corporation. It’s a solely volunteer based corporation that was organized by Maggie Sue’s family after her sudden and tragic death on August 14, 2011.
The youngster died just two days before her long-anticipated fifth birthday – “as a result of contracting the virus known as Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a rare but deadly encephalitis that is transmitted to humans solely through the bite of an infected mosquito. A tiny… deadly… mosquito,” Wilcox said.
They are planning a fundraiser in early March to raise awareness and funds to continue fighting EEE in Oswego County.
The first-ever “Be Aware ‘Cause It’s Rare… Fight EEE” fundraising event is currently scheduled for March 2, at The American Foundry, 246 W. Seneca St., Oswego.
The event will run from noon until 5 p.m.
Musical entertainment will be provided by ThunderChild, Todd Hobin and Eileen Bradish.
“Our Maggie’s life, although far too short, was filled with childish giggles and squeals of delight; music, dancing and silliness at every turn. Our fundraising event will hold all of that and more,” Wilcox said. “It will be a fun-filled family and community gathering opportunity, while we work to achieve a common goal; eradication of the threat of EEE from the lives of those we love!!”
Eastern Equine Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, the symptoms of which are the sudden onset of a debilitating headache, high fever, chills and vomiting progressing into disorientation, seizures, coma and death.
This illness has no cure.
One in three children or adults who become infected will die and those who may survive typically suffer severe, irreversible and devastating brain damage.
Those most at risk for contracting this virus are children under the age of 15 and adults over the age of 50.
The eastern coastal states and the gulf coastal states are affected yearly by mosquitoes carrying this deadly virus.
“Our purpose is quite simple; to raise awareness of the methods we must all take in order to protect our loved ones from falling prey to this horrible illness and to raise funds to be utilized solely for the purpose of promoting the research and development of a human vaccine for this virus,” Wilcox said.
“Your help with this endeavor may come to us in the form of a monetary donation, a donation of items that we may utilize in a silent auction and various raffles or both,” she continued. “To be certain, whatever means of your support, it will most certainly help to make our event hugely successful.”
The MSGW Foundation would like to thank people in advance for “considering our request, acting on your conscience and providing the financial support so desperately needed in order to achieve our goal,: Wilcox added.
With the help of the public and in continuing to work closely with city, county and state government officials, they hope to one day be able to provide a vaccine that will prevent the senseless and tragic loss of life from that which Maggie Sue’s family now calls “The Beast.”
Besides Wilcox, co-founders of The MSGW Foundation include David B. Wilcox and Julie A.G. Wilcox (parents).
For more information or to make a donation, contact the foundation at: Post Office Box 236, New Haven, NY 13121 or 315-592-1033.
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