Fundraiser for Guillain-Barre Syndrome Survivor

An Ishpeming man is recovering from a rare condition that paralyzed him six months ago.

But it has left him, and his family, with a pile of medical bills.

This past spring, Branden Billings had mononucleosis.

The illness led to a diagnosis of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a nervous system condition.

Branden says it involves the body responding to an infection improperly, creating proteins instead of antibodies.

The proteins eat the nervous system from the inside.

He was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down and needed a ventilator to breathe.

Branden returned home in August after months of therapy.

He’s gradually recovering, but he fatigues easily, which makes going to work difficult.

State aid has helped cover most of his medical bills, but there are still more than $20,000 in bills remaining.

Friends and relatives have organized a benefit at Flanigans Bar in Marquette to help him out.

Branden says it’ll be from 1 to 6 pm, and it includes raffles and silent auction items as well as a chili cook-off that costs $10 to enter.

Branden is a karaoke singing enthusiast, so the benefit will also include a karaoke contest.

It’ll also cost $10 to enter.