Charlotte Basurto was born w/Loeys-Dietz syndrome. The condition, often fatal if left untreated, causes the spine to grow forward and twist, compressing the lungs and undermining the heart. The standard treatment in the U.S. is to fuse the spine, which causes its own set of problems.
This grim prognosis was unacceptable to Charlotte’s mom, Pauline – whose sister is Mineral Pointer Kate Olsen-Birner – and she found a treatment in London that reverses the severe scoliosis. Pauline discovered that if she worked for the Department of Defense, Charlotte could qualify for the London program. The only DOD job she could get was in Guam, so she and husband Mauricio packed up Charlotte and her three brothers and moved there. After spending a year getting the insurance and medical leave in order, Charlotte was finally able to start the medical procedure in London.
The 14-year-old has more treatment to go. But in the 80 days since doctors inserted magnetic rods on either side of her spine, Charlotte’s neck has straightened and she has elongated six inches.
As with all medical procedures, the bills can be tremendous. To help Charlotte’s family, Kate Olsen-Birner and her husband and guitarist John Birner bring you Charlottapalooza on June 21 at the Mineral Point Opera House.
- The Backseat Serenaders
- The Katie Burns Band
- Rick Harris and Friends w/ Paul Biere and Roy Hanson
- Mike Mitchell
- Scott Stieber and Don Myers
- Still Strummin’
– The benefit concert is 7-9:30 p.m. on June 21 at the Mineral Point Opera House. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and can be purchased at Mitchell’s Hardware or at the door.
– Contributed by Susan Webb