MVP Regional Editor
Wednesday, June 21, marked the official start to the summer season. It was also a fitting day for community members to help raise more than $4,500 in the “Leg Up for Summer” fundraiser. Summer Foust is a six-year-old from Sharon who was in a lawnmower accident a year-and-a-half ago. As a result, her left leg was severely mangled. Summer had undergone numerous surgeries since the accident in an effort to try and save her damaged leg.
Family members and doctors made the decision recently to amputate Summer’s leg just above the knee. She is now in the “shrinkage” and healing process to be fitted for a prosthetic. After her last surgery, uncle Jason Foust and his friend, Christy Dane, began organizing the “Leg Up for Summer” spaghetti-dinner fundraiser.
Foust and his son, Jacob, are a father-son barbecue competition team and own and operate the Squatch BBQ and Catering food truck. Foust prepared a Memphis BBQ-style spaghetti, along with traditional spaghetti, and set up behind the Exxon gas station on University Street in Martin last Wednesday to help raise money for his niece.
Summer’s grandmother and caretaker, Dinah Foust of Sharon, told The Post that Summer is in good spirits and in a lot less pain since the amputation.
Dinah shared there were nights that Summer would wake up screaming in pain or she couldn’t sleep because of the pain prior to her most-recent surgery. Those nights, Dinah felt helpless. Insurance doesn’t cover all of Summer’s medication. The family makes multiple trips to LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis. After Summer is fitted with a prosthetic, she will begin physical therapy.
“I will have to take it off whenever I swim or shower. I can’t get it wet, is what they told me,” Summer shared. She said she is looking forward to when she can go swimming with her friends. She greeted everyone with a smile last week and thanked them for stopping by her uncle’s food truck to pick up spaghetti plates for dinner.
As an agile six-year-old, Summer seemed to be a pro at hopping on one leg for short distances. As she grows, Summer will have to be fitted for several prosthetics through childhood.
Word of the fundraiser and Summer’s journey was broadcast in local newspapers and on radio stations in northwest Tennessee. Forever Communications, which carries WENK and Froggy, simultaneously announced the event.
Thunderbolt Broadcasting CEO Paul Tinkle invited Dinah to their studios for a morning show on WCMT. Tinkle and the team also collected donations for the Foust family at the radio station. He dropped off an envelope filled with donations for the family at the “Leg Up for Summer” fundraiser that night.
Dinah’s fellow church members helped with preparing spaghetti dinner plates the night of the fundraiser. Nearly $4,600 was raised through the coordinated effort. For those still wanting to make a donation, contact Jason Foust at 731-334-9472.