Diagnosed with West Nile in 2006, Bryan Police Sergeant Donnie Manry was partially paralyzed. Friends in the community are hosting a benefit for Manry Saturday. High response has forced them to change locations.
Instead of being held at the Brazos Center the benefit will be held at the Bryan High Silver Campus Cafeteria. The proceeds from the event will go to the Manry family.
Although Manry has undergone intense physical therapy since his diagnosis in August, he does not have full range of motion in his legs.
Doctors originally told Manry they didn't know if he would ever feel anything from the waist down.
"That was a tough pill to swallow when just five days before you were chasing your kids in the yard," says Manry.
But therapists at St. Joseph Regional Health Center held out hope Manry would regain some feeling. From almost Day One, he was put on an intense therapy schedule. Specialists worked with him on land and water. It was in the pool where Manry found his real inspiration. He found in the weightless environment, he could move some muscles.
"I deem it as a success that he has come this far, and he just seems to get better every time," said Devorah Yarbrough with St. Joseph Outpatient Rehabilitation.
Manry feels his left leg is about up to 70 percent strength in some places. His right leg, though, is lagging behind in the progress. However, what could seem daunting to some doesn't seem to outwardly faze him at all.
"I am not quitting until I am walking without any help. We have come a long way," said Manry.
The one emotional hurdle he is working to overcome is his pending retirement from the Bryan Police Department. Manry says in July, he'll have used up all his disability, sick leave and vacation time. He says even though it is more than a decade early, retiring is in his best interest.
In order to help him fund his therapy until his goals are met, friends and family have teamed up to host the benefit.
The following is a press release from Manry's benefit organizers:
Due to the limited amount of parking at the Brazos Center and the great success of the Manry Benefit the event had to be moved to a larger facility.
Thanks to the Bryan High School Staff for their support and assistance.
All activities scheduled will be the same.
The barbeque benefit meal is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 28.
A plate with two meats, beans and potato salad will be available for $10.00,and brisket or sausage sandwiches will be available for $5.00 a plate.
Whole and half briskets may also be purchased in advance by calling Mike Southerland at 260-4151.
A giant raffle, silent auction and a live auction (begins at 1:30) will be held during the benefit.