Benefit this weekend for Fort Pierce toddler in need of prosthetic treatment

Story by Jana Eschbach / CBS 12 NEWS

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – “He just wants to be like every other child his age and not be looked at that he is different,” said Conner Scherer’s Mom Ashley, watching him attack a video game. Born premature at 26 weeks with a rare syndrome that require an amputation of his fingers and leg, the battle for Conner’s family now is financial as surgeries and therapy costs are piling up as Conner faces 12 more months of a marathon recovery.

“People stare or you know ask him questions all the time, he doesn’t want to be bothered with that he’s 4 and a half. He wants to do what every other kid his age is doing,” Ashley McMahon said, noting Conner tells her he wants kids not to look at him funny, or at his 20 inch metal brace, “it’s heartbreaking for your son, because he doesn’t see himself differently per se. He doesn’t understand his limitations, which sometimes is a good thing.”

At age 4 and half, just a few steps forward  is a huge victory. Born with Amniotic Band Syndrome, it’s taken Conner Scherer 11 surgeries, and nearly daily physical therapy to get moving. 

“They bend my leg. They take pictures,” he whispers, about physical therapy, not wanting to talk about his treatments.

Conner’s family drives him to specialized pediatric Physical therapy in West Palm Beach at St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital 61 miles south of their home in Fort Pierce nearly every day. Why so far?

“We learned while I was pregnant about a doctor that can lengthen his limb, because his knee is so short it was hard to get good contact off his prosthetic,” Ashley said.

The lengthening surgeries are intense during a child’s toddler years. But every time Conner wakes up and wants to walk right away. If his limb is lengthened, he can wear a below the knee prosthetic and have a more active life.

But all this treatment comes at a price. His mom and stepdad Chris are studying to become a nurse and paramedic at Indian River State College and alternating their schedules to get Conner to his appointments.

They spend $40 dollars in gas daily. Then there’s the fights with insurance companies and the unpaid claims and countless appeals, as the bills add up.
When his nurses got the news that the therapy will continue now 5 days a week for the next year until his next surgery, then another annual round of therapy,  one of Conner’s nurses and caregivers, Audrey Stabile, plans to help the family make ends meet with a fundraiser at Pineapple Playhouse in Fort Pierce this weekend.

“For somebody to come up and say I want to help your son, it just is amazing,” Ashley said of Audrey’s gift performance.

Audrey called the show for Conner an act of love for an amazing little boy, who doesn’t see himself as disabled.

So for one night only, all proceeds will go to little Conner for his additional surgical costs, co-pays, travel and physical therapy costs.

Even if you don’t attend the performance, the theater will take donations on Conner’s behalf and 100% of it goes to his family’s fund.

One day Conner wants to become a superhero, he told CBS 12, “like Superman or Cyclops,” who can overcome anything and not just walk, but fly.

To buy tickets:

To donate for  Conner:

Saturday at 8:00pm        
Pineapple Playhouse
700 West Weatherbee Road, Fort Pierce, Florida 34982

The Pineapple Playhouse is proud to announce a special encore performance of “Proof” David Auburn’s Tony Pulitzer award winning play. Directed by John Procino and starring Katie Horn, Audrey Stabile, Steven Dionne and Jon Bates. The show is this Saturday, May 31st, at 8pm to benefit young Connor.

Connor is 4 years old and was born with a below the knee amputation on his right leg. With one major surgery under his belt and more to come, 100% of the proceeds of this performance will go to Connor his family to help with ongoing medical expenses.

Tickets are $15.00, general admission. Please call the box office at 772.465.0366 or drop by to purchase your tickets to support this amazing little boy!Benefit this weekend for Fort Pierce toddler in need of prosthetic treatment

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