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3 moms to host gala fundraiser for childhood cancer research

September 3, 2018

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) — Losing a child to cancer is something parents don’t want to think about. However, three Wiregrass mothers know firsthand the pain their children felt, and the pain their family felt as their child lost a battle to childhood cancer. That’s why Alicia Hayes, Marci Harrison, and Lindsey Rushing are joining forces to host the inaugural Golden Gala.

The Golden Gala is scheduled for Sept. 6 beginning at 6:30 p.m., in the Yellow Rose Ballroom at Center Stage. Tickets are $75 each or $100 per couple. Sponsorship tables are available for $600. Early ticket sales are encouraged, but tickets will be available the night of the event.

The gala will consist of live entertainment performed by the “The Classics,” food, drinks, a live auction, and a silent auction. Door prizes will also be awarded throughout the evening.

All funds raised during the gala will go toward research for childhood cancer.

“Each one of us has had a child pass from childhood cancer,” Rushing said. “So as a way to increase awareness to childhood cancer, and the much needed research for childhood cancer we have decided to come together for this one event.”

Each family has a non-profit organization setup to help raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer.

Staying Cody Strong was started by Frank and Alicia Hayes. This organization honors and remembers the life Cody Hayes, an active teenager who enjoyed playing sports for Ashford High School and spending time with his family and friends. Cody lost his battle to cancer at the age of 17.

Hannah’s Gift of Hope honors and remembers the life of Hannah Grace Harrison, started by Jarad and Marci Harrison. Hannah was a child full of life and a joy to everyone. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2008. She had four brain surgeries and doctors were able to remove the tumor. However, in 2009 an MRI showed the cancer had returned, but not in the original spot. The cancer was located in one area of her brain and several areas in her spine. A follow-up MRI showed the cancer had returned in the original tumor location as well as, through her brain and spine. Hannah passed away on Aug. 1, 2010; she was four years old.

Libby’s Light Shine was founded by Tray and Lindsey Rushing. Libby Claire was diagnosed with cancer in November 2013. Libby loved life. She enjoyed trips to the ocean, spending time with her family and life in general. She lost her battle to cancer on Dec. 5, 2016. Libby fought a courageous battle against stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma cancer. She was four years old.

“The families who have dealt with childhood cancer know the toll it can take the child and their family, and the amount of expenses it can create,” Rushing said. “But, most importantly, we know additional research for a cure and treatments are needed. Many people don’t realize there are only three drugs used for treatment, and that has been the same since the 1980s. The sad thing is our area is saturated with childhood cancer and we need additional research. I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what our child and our family went through. We need increase awareness to childhood cancer and we need to increase the current research taking place.”

For more information regarding the Golden Gala or to purchase a ticket for the event, call 334-796-7092.

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Information from: The Dothan Eagle, http://www.dothaneagle.com

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