People begin fundraisers for all different reasons. For Joey Funderburk, who has chosen donuts as his fundraising specialty, it’s about raising money for a new pair of prosthetic legs.Funderburk, 22, was born with Proximal Femural Focal Deficiency (PFFD), which caused his legs to not grow normally. His first surgery was in 2000 and his received his first legs in 2001.Funderburk started selling Krispy Kreme donuts two and a half months ago when his insurance company denied his claim for new prosthetic legs.Funderburk says he has outgrown his current prosthetics, making it difficult to walk, but since his medical condition has not changed, his insurance company denied his family’s request. Funderburk’s mother, Chrystal, said that they thought it had to be a misunderstanding at first. Her adopted son is about 25 pounds too heavy for his current prosthetics to support him, she said. But after being denied a third time, she knew they would have to find another way to help their son. “I just prayed about it and knew that God was in control,” said the Hickory Grove, S.C., resident. “That’s when I realized we had to get up off the couch and do something about it.”The Funderburk family turned to selling donuts to raise money for the $120,000 legs. They ordered 100 dozen donuts and, on a Saturday afternoon, headed to a local town to see how much they could sell.That first Saturday they sold every box of Krispy Kreme donuts, and picked up extra money through donations.“I was so humbled and amazed that people who didn’t even know my son were helping us,” Funderburk’s mother said. “People were so warm and kind. One woman, who was an amputee, gave me a hug and started sobbing. She told us we had to keep this going.”That’s what the Funderburks did. It wasn’t long before the story became TV news. That’s when the Funderburk’s insurance company decided to cover $47,000 of the cost of the new prosthetics. The Funderburks are holding a silent auction on Dec. 8. The auction items range from a weekend vacation to the beach to restaurant gift certificates. All the items have been donated by the Funderburk’s friends and other Charlotte vendors who wanted to help. All proceeds will go towards Funderburk’s new legs. The family is starting a nonprofit organization called Grace’s Lamp. All the extra money they raise during this fundraiser will go into their new organization, which will seek to help with adoptions, medical needs, and prosthesis.From donut sales to the silent auction to starting their own nonprofit, the Funderburk’s have never given up hope. “Joey is one of the happiest people I know,” Funderburk’s mother said. “He says that he has the chance to make a difference in the world,” she said.After raising more than $30,000, they are almost halfway to meeting their goal. What started as a simple donut fundraiser has grown into an incredible journey for the Funderburks.
Friday, Nov. 30, 2012
Joey’s journey for new prosthetic legs
Family launches fundraisers to help young man live his life
Joey Funderburk sets up his donut stand outside local Starbucks, sharing his story and collecting money for a new pair of prosthetic legs.
Want to help? The Funderburk family is hosting a silent auction 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Coffey Creek Café on Center Park Drive, Charlotte, to help their son, Joey, raise money to purchase new prosthetic legs. 704-357-6117.