AP NEWS

Halloween and Christmas come early for Fort Bragg girl with cancer

May 19, 2019

Over the next few days, 5-year-old Ila Haskin will get to experience both Halloween and Christmas.

The Fayetteville Observer reported Ila, who lives with her parents and four older siblings in the Fort Bragg community of Linden Oaks, has diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), an inoperable brain tumor found in a part of the brain stem.

The aggressive tumor interferes with all bodily functions, depriving a child of the ability to move, communicate and even to eat and drink.

Friends of Ila and her parents Nadine and Michael have banded together to make the coming days special for the girl.

Sunday, the friends are planning a Halloween party in Linden Oaks. It will include a trunk-or-treat event for Ila and her siblings.

On Tuesday, the friends are organizing a Christmas celebration — seven months early. Santa will be there, and Linden Oaks residents are being encouraged to decorate their houses. There will be a mini-parade, pictures and gifts.

Debbie Biesel, one of the organizers of the events, said even people who won’t be home Tuesday have given permission to have their homes decorated.

According to a “Defeat DIPG” website, 200 to 400 children are diagnosed with the condition each year, most between the ages of 4 and 11.

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