Benefit planned for Vermillion resident, artist Sarah Hanson

On Saturday March 31, from 7 to 9 p.m., there will be a benefit for Vermillion resident Sarah Hanson at the Washington Street Arts Center located at 202 Washington, Vermillion.  All proceeds will go towards paying Sarah's medical bills, which have accumulated over the past year due to several chronic illnesses.  Sarah's illness started one week before major kidney surgery in November of 2010. Since that time she has been seen by 16 medical doctors in the pursuit of a diagnosis.

After visiting three general practice physicians, one physician's assistant, two gastroenterologists, one endocrinologist, one rheumatologist, one internal medicine doctor, two emergency room doctors, one surgeon, one neurologist, and one chiropractor, it was her urologist and a certified nurse practitioner who discovered that she was exhibiting the signs of mold exposure and battling a systemic fungal infection. It took 14 months, 16 doctors, and an indoor quality air sampling by GeoTek to secure the diagnosis.

Sarah began the treatment for fungal overgrowth seven weeks ago and will continue to work towards recovery which may take up to two years. The family is moving in June and will need to wash, destroy and/or replace all of their items due to mold spore contamination.

Sarah hopes that this benefit will also raise awareness about fungal overgrowth and mold exposure.

The benefit will have original works of art and special music performances up for silent auction or raffle. Some of the artists and musicians who are donating include Mike Hill, John Banasiak, Michael Hook, Chris Meyer, Arian Sheets, Elaine Peacock, as well as several USD students.  Other items that will be in the auction include packages from local businesses.  The benefit is free to enter and will feature live music from Eli Show.  There will be a cash bar.

If you are interested in making direct financial donations to Sarah, contributions may be sent to or deposited at Bank of the West, 15 East Main Street, Vermillion, SD, in care of Sarah Hanson.

For more information about the benefit, please email Alison Erazmus at or go to

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