Golf and dinner fundraisers set for Sunridge resident |

Golf and dinner fundraisers set for Sunridge resident

by Caryn Haller

Friends of 45-year-old Melissa Smith are holding two fundraisers Aug. 11 to help the Sunridge resident get back on her feet after a stroke left her unable to work.

A golf tournament is set for 9 a.m. at Sunridge Golf Course, followed by a dinner party and raffle at 4 p.m. .

Smith’s struggles began in May when she began experiencing minor blurred vision. After a visit to her optometrist, excess pressure behind her right eye was discovered and an MRI was performed.

The MRI confirmed a brain tumor known as Meningioma (a tumor that arises from the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).

Doctors told Smith she would need surgery immediately.

“For the most part it never really hit her until the day before her surgery. We never really talked about the bad things that could happen,” friend Jen Calabrese said. “She thought it was going to be a quick and easy surgery and would be back to work within six to eight weeks.”

While in surgery June 8, Smith suffered a stroke which left her with weakness on the right side of her body.

She spent two weeks in the Intensive Care Unit, followed by three weeks at a rehabilitation center at Carson Tahoe Hospital.

“The stroke definitely took a toll on her, she had therapy sessions daily for her speech as well as for her right arm, which she lost most movement in due to the stroke,” Calabrese said. “She does not have short term disability, and at the moment doesn’t qualify for any assistance.”

Smith is home now, but requires assistance.

“She has aphasia. She knows what she wants to say, but her brain can’t process the words,” Calabrese said. “She definitely gets frustrated daily.”

In addition to the fundraisers, Calabrese has opened a bank account at Heritage Bank of Nevada to help keep Smith on her feet as she recovers.

There is also a website set up to accept donations at

“We all know it is going to be a long road to recovery,” Calabrese said. “Melissa has a heart of gold and would give anything if we were in her position.”

The dinner party features live music and raffles. Cost is $30 a plate at 725 Indian Trail Road off Foothill Road.

Golf costs $60 for 18 holes.

For more information, call Calabrese at 881-1111.


An account has been established at Heritage Bank in the name of Melissa Smith, account no. 2000009924.

To donate on the web, visit