Fund-raiser planned for Oak Ridge cancer patient

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Girl undergoes weekly chemotherapy treatments.

Family and friends from the Oak Ridge area are planning to hold auction for youngster with cancer.

The auction is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the Old Appleton Horse Auction Barn. Merchandise, services and gift certificates from many local businesses, restaurants and individuals will be auctioned to raise funds.

Mayce Leah Brower, 2, is battling rhabdomyosarcoma, a disease in which cancer cells begin growing in muscle tissue.

It can occur anywhere in the body and is the most common type of sarcoma found in the soft tissues of children.

The toddler has been undergoing weekly chemotherapy treatments since late November.

Mayce's great-aunt, Nel Archer of Oak Ridge, knows a lot about the disease. Her daughter was diagnosed with it at 11 -- she died at 14.

Vocal cords paralyzed

"What makes it worse for Mayce," Archer said, "is that because her vocal cords have been paralyzed, she cannot speak.

"Explaining what's happening to a child this young is difficult. At least with my daughter, she could understand."

Archer and a friend, Julie Heroux of Oak Ridge, are doing all they can to raise money for Mayce's family to help pay for medical expenses not covered by insurance.

Last month, they raised $200 from a bake sale at the Jackson Wal-Mart.

The cancer was discovered when Mayce underwent a procedure to have tubes put in her ears.

The procedure was unsuccessful because a tumor would not permit entry of the tubes. The tumor, behind the inside of her ear to her brain, was biopsied, and rhabdomyosarcoma was diagnosed.

"She'll receive chemotherapy treatments for eight and a half more months. Then she'll have to have radiation for six weeks daily," her father, James Brower, said.

Mayce's father and mother, Sarah Brower, of Troy, Mo., stay with Mayce while she receives treatments.

Sarah gave up employment as a day-care provider to be with her daughter as much as possible. Travel time to the hospital takes more than an hour.

Bank account established

An account at US Bank has been set up for Mayce Leah Brower and donations can be made at any branch.

Saturday's auction will feature locally known auctioneer Charley Mangels. Hamburgers, hotdogs, coffee and soda will be available.

Those planning to attend should take Interstate 55 North to exit 117 (Old Appleton). Turn left. The auction barn is on the right.

335-6611, extension 133

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