For the prospects of better health and life for his 24-year-old son, Garrett, Darry Shaw and his brother Terry continue to paint like a life depends on it. Because it does.
The purpose in the brothers’ latest projects has been to benefit the family in being able to get Garrett into stem-cell replacement therapy in another country.
Darry said his son, who only just over a year ago was able to do handstands and flips at the drop of a hat, began falling fatigued from the diabolical symptoms of multiple sclerosis. A former champion wrestler, the young man wrestles with gravity when he tries to walk.
In seeking some sort of help, Darry said that COVID’s reach has knocked down a lot of prospects for medical assistance in the United States. So he began to look elsewhere. He and his father and brother have chipped into a fund to get Garrett into programs in other countries.
Again, COVID restrictions have limited that. But you keep trying for your children. You find a way, Darry said.
Since prior Constitution stories have shared Garrett’s plight, his father said the outpouring of people from the community reaching out to help has been overwhelming. Along with monetary donations, others who have faced the same foe in MS have reached out.
“So many people contacted me with information who have been through it,” he said. “The main problem is for us to get somewhere.”
Originally, Darry was planning on taking Garrett to Mexico to receive treatment At over $30,000 in cost plus travel and rent to stay nearby while his son undergoes 45 days of treatment, Pueblo, Mexico, still remains a good option.
But an opportunity to undergo treatment in Russia remains on the table. Although it will cost in the range of $55,000 to $60,000 for the treatment, plus the cost of travel and staying for between 30 to 45 days in this different land, Darry said it could be worth it.
“But we won’t be able to get in there until March 21, 2021,” he said.
But there are concerns that a vulnerable immunological state may make the return home for Garrett via an airplane risky.
“He’s going to have a real difficult time getting to Russia and back,” Darry said.
The difficulties facing this young man, coupled with the contributions the Shaw brothers have made artistically to the Lawton community, fired Chris Caldwell Sr. up to do something and help. He’s helped establish a fund to assist. Donations will continue to be made through it until at least Thanksgiving.
“We are still trying to raise additional funds to help Garrett during this most difficult time,” he said.
So far, the response has been overwhelming, according to Darry.
“It was unreal how many people have reached out,” he said.
A fundraiser spaghetti dinner is slated for noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 5 at the VFW Post 5263, 103 NE 20th. At $8 a plate, it is hoped a lot of people get hungry for the right reasons. There will also be a silent auction for art and antique items from the Shaw brothers. Terry said he’s got something special on the block.
“I’m auctioning off some performance art,” he said with a silly grin following on his face.
Even in hard times, joy is something that permeates Darry and Terry Shaw, from their art to their personalities.
While working Sunday on a new “Imagine” mural on the side of Honest Harry’s Pawn Shop, 401 SW 11th, its message was felt. Much as the brush strokes developing before eyes on the building wall turned to art, the hope for help for Garrett is coming closer to reality:
“Make it happen.”