0

Masonic Lodge holds fund-raiser for youngster

Special Photo
Caleb Lam, 5, (left) and his father, David Lam, 31, get up close and personal with a horse at the Virginia Beach, Va. farm of David's aunt, Bliss Lam. Caleb suffers from Kawasaki disease. The Hampton Masonic Lodge # 70 is hosting a fund-raiser for the youngster.

Special Photo Caleb Lam, 5, (left) and his father, David Lam, 31, get up close and personal with a horse at the Virginia Beach, Va. farm of David's aunt, Bliss Lam. Caleb suffers from Kawasaki disease. The Hampton Masonic Lodge # 70 is hosting a fund-raiser for the youngster.

Caleb Lam, 5, developed a severe rash in January.

"It was all over his body, and it got worse," said his father, David Lam, a six-year veteran Henry County policeman. "He never complained about the rash, he developed a fever and that's when we took him to the hospital."

Caleb was taken to Egleston Children's Hospital, in Atlanta, for evaluation, said David Lam. He remained hospitalized for three weeks for treatment, he added.

What the family learned was Caleb's gall bladder became enlarged and was only functioning at 20 percent. Doctors told his parents, David and Sarah Lam, their son had a rare illness known as Kawasaki disease.

Kawasaki disease affects the skin, mouth, and lymph nodes, and most often affects children under age 5. The cause is unknown, but if the symptoms are recognized early, the person affected can fully recover within a few days. Untreated, it can lead to serious complications that can affect the heart.

"It is a rare condition found in children," said Lam. "The blood vessels become inflamed including the coronary arteries which supply blood to the heart."

Members of the Masonic Lodge #70 learned of young Lam's condition and offered help.

A "Pancake and Sausage Breakfast" fund-raiser will be held for Caleb. It is scheduled for June 4, at 7 a.m., in the Hampton Masonic Lodge #70, 34 McDonough St.

"We found out about little Caleb, and felt the family was experiencing lots of financial difficulties, medical bills, and hotel costs for when the family stays at a nearhotel while Caleb is in the hospital," said Bud Smith, Past Master, and treasurer.

When Caleb was released from the hospital in February, his parents had planned to hold his birthday party outdoors, in BobMcBrayer Park, located in Hampton. Rainy weather forced the observance inside. Sarah Lam contacted Smith explaining how they wanted to rent the lodge for their son's birthday party. After the birthday party, lodge members became committed to Caleb's recovery, said Lam's father.

"I'm in my 47th year in law enforcement, I know the pay is not that great," said Smith.

"We are not setting a price for the breakfast, we are asking people to give what they can," said Smith. "We start at 7, in the morning, but we will continue until the last person is served."

The Lams have been married for nine years. They have two other children, Aubrey, 6, and Libby, 2.

The Lams found out Wednesday, following a doctor's appointment, their son's gallbladder is now functioning at 90 percent. However, the youngster will continue to see a heart specialist throughout the year and his doctors will monitor his enlarged gallbladder.

"That means he will probably not have to have surgery to remove his gall bladder," said his elated father. "He told me ‘Daddy God healed my gall bladder,'" said Lam.

"Pridefully, I tried to tell them the fund-raiser was not necessary," said David Lam. "Honestly you can't tell a Mason no; they have a huge heart for children."

"They have embraced us," the officer continued. "They have a true care for their community, especially children."

For more information about the Pancake and Sausage Breakfast fund-raiser contact Candy Franklin, Hampton Main Street Director, at (770) 946-4306, or e-mail at cfranklin@cityofhampton-ga.gov.