Fundraisers to help Hermiston boy with medical bills

Loretto J. Hulse, Tri-City HeraldMay 2, 2014 

A spaghetti dinner and silent auction will benefit Caleb Moore, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after a bike crash.

E.J. HARRIS/EAST OREGONIAN

— At first glance Caleb Moore looks like any other 12-year-old boy. But watch and listen closely and you'll find his eyes don't track true, that his speech is sometimes slurred and his balance is shaky.

Caleb, the son of Rachel and Tom Moore of Hermiston, suffered a severe brain injury in a 2012 bicycle accident.

Since then he's had extensive surgeries and medical procedures and Caleb and his family face many more, perhaps for years.

It's left the family strapped financially. To help, there will be two fundraising events Saturday and Sunday to help pay for Caleb's medical expenses.

The Tri-Cities Fever indoor football team and the Kennewick Fraternal Order of the Police donated jerseys and footballs for a raffle.

The Moores will have a booth set up at the Toyota Center for the Fever's game tonight. They'll accepting donations and sell raffle tickets at a dollar apiece or six for $5.

The drawing will be held during the third quarter of the game.

Prizes are:

-- No. 34 pink jersey and pink ball from the 2014 Go Pink night.

-- No. 99 Ryan Tolar jersey worn during a game and a game football.

-- No. 4 Steven Whitehead jersey worn during a game and a game football.

-- An autographed 2014 replica jersey.

On Sunday, the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon will hold a spaghetti feed fundraiser at 4 p.m. at the Hermiston Community Center, 415 Highway S, Hermiston.

Several Fever players will help with the dinner.

There will also be a silent auction.

Tickets to the dinner are limited to 500. Cost is $5 per person or $20 for a family of six (additional family tickets will be $1 each). To buy tickets, call 503-754-6034.

Caleb's injuries occurred when the front wheel of his bike detached as he was riding home from school.

He was pitched forward, causing him to slam into the pavement chin first.

The force of the fall dislocated his jaw, which eventually broke and still needs more surgery.

"He hit so hard his brain swung forward and back, forward and back. The swishing of his brain caused symptoms similar to shaken baby syndrome," Rachel Moore said.

His injuries would have been worse if he had not been wearing his bike helmet, she said.

Caleb suffers from major debilitating headaches and has trouble reading, writing and with his memory.

"He has behavior issues and sometimes acts like a 4-year-old when told no. His brain works slower and can't process concepts like that," she said.

Unlike someone with a concussion who simply wants to sleep, Caleb never does.

"His brain never shuts down," she said.

That's one of the issues to be addressed when Caleb and his mom return to Portland on May 9 for more medical treatments and therapies.

For more information on Caleb and his family, search for "Caleb's Traumatic Brain Injury" on Facebook.

To make a donation toward his medical expenses, go to www.gofundme.com/77e07o.

-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; lhulse@tricityherald.com

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