Paige Wade has watched her best friend, Robyn Pfeifer, battle Crohn’s disease since the eighth grade.
The girls, who are juniors at Washougal High School, have been best friends since first grade.
Watching Pfeifer spend 66 days in the hospital during the summer of 2009 and endure six surgeries, inspired Wade to do something to help.
So she talked to a mutual friend, WHS senior Chandler Audette, and they decided to host a benefit concert in Pfeifer’s honor.
“Seeing what she has had to go through really inspired me to do something,” she said. “So I talked to my mom about how to get the word out and she suggested a benefit concert.”
Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. It usually affects the intestines. While the exact cause is unknown, the condition is linked to a problem with the body’s immune system response. In essence, the immune system can’t tell the difference between normal body tissue and foreign substances. The result is an overactive response that leads to chronic inflammation. This is called an “autoimmune disorder.”
Since Pfeifer is involved with the WHS theater group, the Panther Players, Wade invited them to perform.
Audette, who has been friends with Pfeifer since middle school, began asking people she knew with musical talent to perform.
There will be 14 performers for the concert, which includes both students and community members, who will be playing the violin and guitar, singing and doing skits.
“We’ve told a lot of people about this, and Robyn is a big inspiration,” Audette said.
“Everyone wanted to help because she is always so upbeat about everything.”
The concert will be held Tuesday, March 8 at 6 p.m. at WHS’s Washburn Performing Arts Center, 1201 39th St.
Donations will be accepted and all proceeds will go toward the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.
“I know Robyn has been a great friend to a lot of people and this is a chance for them to give back,” Audette said. “She always stays positive and it’s nice to help her.”
When asked how she felt about her friends’ efforts, Pfeifer said she was in shock.
“I couldn’t believe someone would do that for me,” she said. “It was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen.”