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Local Restaurants Rally to Give Hope to Woman with Rare Illness

Emily Progin, PR and Communications Coordinator

[email protected] / 800.642.8399

Release: Immediate


Texas Roadhouse and Red Robin Will Donate % of Proceeds May 20 and 24

MACON, Ga.—On Thursday, May 20 and Monday, May 24, two area restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds to a compassionate cause: a fundraiser in honor of Deanna Celeste Brownlee, a 37-year-old woman struggling to afford medical care as she lives with the rare disease Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or hEDS.

Living with hEDS, Deanna experiences significant problems with her connective tissue, which leads to debilitating symptoms ranging from pain to dizziness and fatigue to bloating, vomiting, swelling of her arms and legs, and frequent and severe infections in the eyes and respiratory system. With no cure for hEDS, Deanna’s symptoms are likely to exacerbate even further over time, affecting her heart, brain, sleep, and mobility.

It took Deanna thirteen years to get an accurate diagnosis of this ultra-rare illness. With doctors refusing to believe her symptoms or diagnose her, Deanna says, “my life was in shambles. I had no health insurance, no way of supporting myself financially, and no way to fight for disability.” She bounced from residence to residence and contacted every hospital, charity, and social program she could find. “I fell through the cracks,” she says.

Though she has found a stable living situation, Deanna says, “We can barely afford to eat once per day…every small setback is financially devastating.” Receiving ongoing medical care is critical to her wellbeing, but she needs help to afford it. That’s why she began fundraising with the national nonprofit Help Hope Live at

To support Deanna’s ongoing fight, you can enjoy a meal at Texas Roadhouse in Macon, Georgia on May 20 between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Show this flyer to your cashier to donate 10% of your bill to this cause. Or, enjoy a meal at Red Robin in Columbus, Georgia on May 24 between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Start your To-Go order at this link and select Fundraisers (To-Go Only). Then select Spirit Night (To-Go) Fundraiser. In the Special Instructions, add “Help Hope Live in honor of Deanna Brownlee.” 20% of your bill will be donated to Deanna’s cause.

If you’d like to assist in a different way, you can make a donation online at any time in honor of Deanna or leave a message of support in her Guestbook at:

Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and all funds raised will be managed by the nonprofit to cover verified medical and related expenses. Help Hope Live verifies medical and financial need for every patient.

Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in secure, tax-deductible fundraising campaigns for people who need a transplant or are affected by a catastrophic injury or illness. Since 1983, campaigns organized by Help Hope Live have raised over $150 million to pay patient expenses. ###

Written by Emily Progin