When the need of a fellow firefighter was made known last year, local firefighters stepped up to help. Monroe Fire Department’s Capt. Jack Armstrong helped rally the community to support a concert at Lighthouse World Outreach in support of the family of Gwinnett County Firefighter Brian Ingram. His daughter, Arrai Grace, now 4, from Covington, is battling a rare genetic disorder that has resulted in several amputations and many medical problems. The concert, featuring Lawson Bates, one of the 19 siblings from the hit reality show Bringing up Bates, helped raised funds for the family. A Gofundme Page gives more information about the many medical problems Arria has already faced in her young life.
Well, the family was very grateful and has stayed in contact with Bates as well as Armstrong from Monroe and is now working with them to help another family that has been devastated by a rare illness. The Archie family consists of parents Ashley and Chris and little Presley. Chris also is a firefighter for Orange County in Orlando, Florida The Archie family lost their son, Parker, at the age of 2 1/2 months. But those 2 1/2 months were a blessing to the family. He was only expected to live a few hour. While still in the womb, Parker was diagnosed with Trisomy 13, or Patau Syndrome. Trisomy 13 is a disorder that causes severe disabilities and birth defects and the vast majority of babies born with it die before they reach the first month of life. The Archie Family decided to use their blessing and subsequent loss to help other parents dealing with the same thing. They started a group called Parker’s Promise and the family of Arrai decided to lend their experience to help them get the word out. Lawson Bates agreed again to do a concert to help this family. The concert won’t be in Monroe this time, it will be in Senoia, Ga., but Armstrong again agreed to get in on the action and all the families met back in Monroe help promote the event. The meeting took place at the 1025 Church on Spring Street on last week and Monroe Mayor John Howard also was in attendance. Bates said this was a request he couldn’t turn down.
“I have been able to keep up with Arrai’s story and her family was able to come to the house and meet all the siblings,” he said, adding this concert, however, is a little different and a first for him.
“I probably get thousands of requests for charity events and obviously I can’t do all of them, but somebody reached out to me through my manager with this case and I wanted to do it,” Bates said. “With these cases typically the child normally lives minutes, but this child hadn’t and they really wanted to do the show. Well, before we could get it together the little fellow passed away and they asked if it was still something I would consider doing. I said sure. We will try and make this a positive show in his memory. I’ve never done something like this before but the reason I want to do this is to bring attention to this type of Trisomy and help the family with some of the medical expenses.”
Bates said he is bringing the full band and will be playing some of his new stuff on his upcoming album as well as some of his old stuff.
“And some of the family members from the TV show will show up as well,” he said.
The concert is tonight, Friday, June 14 at Legacy Christian Church in Senoia. Tickets start at $14 for adults and can be bought at this link. The family also has a GoFundMe page to raise money for Parker’s Promise if you can’t make it to the concert in Senoia, but still want to do something to help.
For more on Parker’s Promise foundation, you can visit the Facebook page.