AMALGA – Deserae Turner is looking forward to finishing Green Canyon High School. She has many things she would like to accomplish after graduation. Her immediate goal is to raise enough money to buy a robotic assist arm.
The arm will strap to the side of her arm and connect to two of her fingers and a thumb. It will give movement to her paralyzed left side.
“Initially, we thought the robotic arm was going to cost $55,000, but they were later told it may cost as much as $88,000,” April her mother said. “It would be game changer for her.”
The newest fundraising activity is a prime rib dinner to be held at the Vineyard at Mt Naomi Farms, March 27, starting at 6 p.m. The dinner will cost $25 a plate.
“Dale, Jay and Kirk Broadhead from Circle B Irrigation offered to help us with a fundraising dinner,” April said. “Lowers said they would donate the meat.”
They are hoping for 400 people to attend the dinner.
“The food and venue have been donated,” April said. “All funds raised will go directly towards Deserae’s prosthetic robotic arm.”
The Turner’s are also selling T-shirts, hoodies and zipper hoodies with Deserea’s catchphrase Tougher than a Bullet. They have also opened Venmo and a GoFundMe accounts.
“Badger Screen Printing has been good to us,” April said. “They are the ones printing the shirts and hoodies.”
Deserae said she has big dreams after graduation and the arm would be a big factor in helping her accomplish them.
“I have big dreams after graduation,” Deserae said. “It’s the last year I can raise a pig for the Cache County Fair and I want to do it.”
She also loves plants and she talked to the people at Garden Gateway and wants to be a volunteer for them this summer.
She also added training service dogs to her list, helping to train service dogs.
“When I can, I also want to work at Berries-n-Cream shop near North Walmart,” Deserae said.
After things slow a bit she wants to attend the Aggie Elevated. Aggie Elevated is a Utah State University program for people with disabilities.
Long term, the gunshot survivor would also like to write a book.
The road has been tough for the Turner family. And they expressed appreciation for everyone being so good to them.
“We couldn’t have done what we have done without their help,” April said. ”The community has been so good to us.”
Deserae still has costly and frequent doctor’s appointments and travels to Salt Lake City.
This will be the first summer she will have a break.
On Feb, 16, 2017, 14 year-old Desreae was lured into a Smithfield canal, shot and left for dead by two school mates Jayzon Decker and Colter Peterson. She laid in the canal for eight hours before being found.
Both boys are now serving 15 years-to-life for the shooting.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story indicated Deserae Turner attends Sky View High School. It has been corrected to indicate she attends Green Canyon High School