Matt Isenberg Fundraiser & Game-Watch Saturday

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On August 16, while driving home from work, former Illinois offensive lineman Matt Isenberg suffered multiple brain hemorrhages. Amazingly, he drove himself to the emergency department at Loyola University Hospital and received treatment, which included two craniotomies because of bleeding in both sides of his brain. A craniotomy is a procedure where a piece of skull is removed to relieve the pressure caused by the swelling of the brain.
After the double crainiotomy, Matt remained in a coma for two weeks but in stable condition. When he awoke, his family's excitement was quickly tempered when he was diagnosed with Wernicke's Aphasia, which causes a person to use language incorrectly. Full recovery is very challenging, and that is where the Fighting Illini family can help.

On Friday, Oct. 7, Matt is being driven from Loyola to the NeuroRestorative Center in Carbondale, the first hospital in the country to focus specifically on brain injury. He will receive intensive speech therapy and life skills training and the hope is that he will be able to return home to his wife, Megan, and children in 4-6 months.

Matt's family and friends have organized a fundraiser for Saturday, Oct. 8, in conjunction with a watch party of the Illinois-Indiana game. The event will be held at Joe's on Weed Street, 940 W. Weed, Chicago, IL, 60622.

The fundraiser's objective is to raise $200,000 to cover the cost of Matt's stay at the NeuroRestorative Center as well as the other daily expenses the family will incur such as travel, day care and other basic living expenses.

Saturday's fundraiser will include a drink special at Joe's and will have a silent auction featuring 50 great items such as a the "Ultimate Fighting Illini Gameday Experience" that includes two 77 Club tickets, parking, on-field access for a quarter, Illini merchandise and an autographed football. Other items such as a "Chicago Bears Gameday Experience," tickets to Chicago Cubs, Blackhawks, White Sox and Bears games, a game-used Ryan Dempster Cubs jersey and a number of trips will be included in the silent auction.

The fundraiser will begin at 11 a.m. with some brief words at 1 p.m., then Illinois-Indiana game starting at 1:30 p.m. People who aren't able to make it to the event but want to bid on the auction items can send absentee bids to info@communitybetterment.org. The full list is here.

For more information about the fundraiser, visit the website of the Matt Isenberg Fund by clicking the link or visit the event's Facebook page.

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