A little over a month ago, Masai Kenyatta was just like any other 29-year-old. He was working, spending time with family and friends and just living his life. But all of that changed.
On Aug. 24 he was hospitalized with encephalitis, a swelling of the brain, that left him with collapsed lungs, unconscious and paralyzed. Though doctors know that encephalitis is caused by an infection, they don’t know what caused Kenyatta’s infection or where it is coming from.
Today, Kenyatta, who turned 30 while in the hospital, is slowly showing signs of improving–he is conscious and has regained movement in his arms, but is still paralyzed from the torso down.
Kenyatta, who was born and raised in Santa Cruz, has a long road of recovery ahead of him though, and friends and family want to help in anyway they can.
“He’s a really great guy and has a good heart, and everybody sees that in him,” friend Crystal Crafton said.
Crafton and Melissa Curtis, owner of 4Squared Auto Care in Scotts Valley, are throwing a fundraiser to raise money for hospital bills and living expenses since Kenyatta, an auto mechanic, has and will continue to be out of work for a while.
The public is invited to the fundraiser, which will be fun for the whole family and will include a DJ, live band, karaoke, barbeque, yard sale, bake sale, silent auction, kids arts and crafts, carnival games, face painting and a bounce house.
Crafton said that the local business community has really stepped up to help out.
“We’ve had probably 50 or 60 local businesses jump in and offer to donate gift certificates, items, time and food to help,” she said. “It’s been amazing. I have never seen so many people come together to support one person.”
Crafton said that they hope to raise between $5,000 and $10,000 for Kenyatta.
“That isn’t a lot when it comes to medical bills, but hopefully it will help,” she said.
The fundraiser for Masai Kenyatta is on Sunday, Sept. 30 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 4Squared Auto Care, 5998 Butler Lane, Scotts Valley. Admission is free and everyone is invited to attend.
For those that can not attend but wish to still donate, visit http://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser_details?fundraiser_id=9169&url=teammasaikenyatta