Maxine and Julie Short, one of her many friends.

Every once in a while something comes along on the Outer Banks that’s a reminder of how generous and caring this community is. That was the case Wednesday night with a fundraiser for Maxine Rossman at Kelly’s Tavern.

The Executive Officer of the Outer Banks Home Builders Association, anyone involved in real estate or construction in the area knows Maxine. She’s one of those people who everyone respects and genuinely cares about—and for good reason. She’s very hard working, knowledgeable and truly cares about the people around her.

So when the word came out that Maxine’s daughter, Amanda, was very ill and that the treatment was expensive–very expensive–and ongoing, the Outer Banks community came together to help.

It started with a GoFundMe account, but then it was decided that a fundraiser would be even more effective and with close to 200 people crowded into Kelly’s that seemed to be the case.

Amanda is ill with multiple auto-immune diseases. Her initial diagnosis was Uveitis, a severe inflammation of the eyes, in her case caused by auto immune disease. Doctors have subsequently identified other diseases affecting the 28-year-old, all of them related to auto immune disorders. 

It took five years and multiple trips from Raleigh to Hampton Roads to get to a diagnosis and even today tests are continuing. Medications are helping but even after deductibles, it’s still expensive.

For most people the sea air of the Outer Banks is wonderful and healthy. For Amanda with her compromised immune system, it’s a disaster and part of the funds being raised are to help move her to the arid climate of Salt Lake City that her doctors feel is the best place for her.

There is hope though. According to Maxine, the doctors feel that living in Salt Lake City with its dry climate will reduce exposure to mold spores and other allergens; in their opinion Amanda’s immune system should begin to reset itself in 12 to 18 months.