West Nile virus has been reported in six counties across the state this year. A local man has been fighting the virus for over a year now and he is asking the community for help.
You may know the name Julie Schirado–she is a frequent guest on Good Day Dakota with Furry Friends. Last year her brother, Doug Schirado, was diagnosed with West Nile and has been fighting it ever since.
Schirado started having headaches which led to flu-like symptoms and then he experienced weakness in his legs. It quickly progressed and lead to full-body paralysis. He was airlifted to Minnesota and even went into a coma.
Schirado has been off his ventilator during the day for six months now, but his fight is far from over. Doug’s family and friends are putting on a fundraiser to help him raise money for his medical expenses and keep his positive spirits up.
Holly Overson, a friend of Doug says, “In life when you see someone you love struggle whatever you can do to help and I guess this is my way of helping. He doesn’t say if I get well. He says when I get well. His spirits are still high. If you would go talk to Doug … it’s still Doug … he’s still Doug.”
Overson says Doug has always been a very active person and its been hard seeing him in this situation.
“You never saw Doug in a motor vehicle unless he was working. Other than that he was pedaling. To see him laying in a bed is very difficult because he was such an active person… so timeline we don’t know. All we are hoping for is there is at least progress. It’s not fast progress, but at least its progress,” says Overson.
They hope the money will help Doug stop worrying about bills– and more about getting better. Their upcoming benefit will be Thursday from 4 to 10 at the Eagles Club in Bismarck with a silent auction, a bake sale, and LIVE Music.