Cooks For Christ to host benefit for Stephen Hawkins
Cooks for Christ will host a chicken bog benefit for 25-year old Stephen Hawkins on Thursday, Aug. 25, at the West Florence Fire Station on Pine Needles Road. Stephen has Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease. At this time, there is no cure for CF. Chicken bog plates will be served from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Dinner will be served from 4 until 7 p.m. A bake sale will be held all day. The menu consists of chicken bog, green beans, slaw and bread. Plates are $7 each. Lunch and dinner can be delivered for orders of seven plates or more.
To donate, make checks payable to “Hawkins Medical Fund.” Stephen is the son of Peggy and Jeff Hawkins of Effingham and the grandson of Gerald Biscup of Florence. He was diagnosed with CF at two months old. He requires breathing treatments, medications to help him digest his food, medications to help him fight infections and some type of airway clearance to keep his lungs free from the thick mucus that is characteristic of CF. He has been on this regime since diagnosis.
As he grew, he started requiring hospitalizations, for “tune-ups” and would be in the hospital on IV antibiotics for two weeks. He missed school because of the frequent hospitalizations and was on homebound from fifth through twelfth grade. He graduated in 2009 with a 4.133 GPA. He also was able to complete some college classes, despite his CF. Unfortunately in August of 2015, Stephen’s disease began to progress to the point that he required more frequent hospitalizations and home IV antibiotics. In October 2015, doctors told him he would need a double lung transplant in order to survive.
Because his lung functions were low, he required oxygen 24/7. His lung functions have been on a steady decline, causing him to require more oxygen, even at rest. Stephen once enjoyed working out, playing golf, and fishing, but has had to give these activities up due to declining health. Stephen hopes one day to resume the things that he enjoyed prior to getting so sick and plans to go back to school at some point. He has been in and out of the hospital since October, being admitted every two to three weeks.
Stephen and his mother recently relocated to Durham, NC, for his transplant at Duke. They were told to plan on being there for six months to a year. Stephen will be on numerous medications for the rest of his life in order to prevent rejection. He also will be required to attend pulmonary rehab post-transplant and make frequent return visits to Duke once he goes home.
Many of these medications and treatments are costly. Cooks for Christ is raising money to help with the many expenses this family has incurred, as well as ongoing medical treatments and travel expenses. For additional information, please contact Jeff Hawkins at (843) 407-7671, Gerald Biscup at (843) 679-3297 or Beverly McKee at (843) 229-0348.