This Friday May 4, starting at 5 p.m. a benefit will be held at the American Legion Legion Post 71 for 12 year old Hannah McCarthy. In mid-March, McCarthy was diagnosed with Juvenile Granulosa Cell Cancer.
She underwent emergency surgery to remove a large tumor, ovary, Fallopian tube, lymph nodes and omentum. An additional 42 pounds of fluid were removed due to the tumor rupturing.
Her condition is extremely rare, generally effecting older women. It is even rarer because the cancer spread to the pelvis and around the colon. McCarthy is the first documented case of this particular cancer spreading.
Currently, the plan for treatment is to start aggressive chemotherapy May 7 and consistent monitoring of the cancer in Rapid City.
Because of the rarity of her diagnosis and aggressive treatment plan, medical care will be costly. The goal for Friday's event is to help off-set some of the cost of treatment.
The evening will begin with a free will donation spaghetti feed from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A live auction will be held afterwards at 7:30 p.m. along with a silent auction and bake sale. A live band will be present for the dinner portion of the evening and a DJ will follow the auction.
Hundreds of items will be available to help fundraising, including: firearms, knives, taxidermy, collectibles, tools, jewelry, home decor, gift certificates and services.
Donations to the auctions or bake sale will be accepted until Friday morning at Legion Post 71.
McCarthy has already received an outpouring of support from the Hot Springs community and beyond. People all over town have been dying their hair purple to show support. Local hair artist, Kristian Bilbrey has done many of the colorings, charging $10, all of which goes to support McCarthy.
The support has gone beyond Hot Springs though. A group of Australians dyed their hair purple to show support. McCarthy even has received support from people inside her favorite NFL team, the Oakland Raiders. Quarterback EJ Manuel and mascot Gorilla Rilla both contacted her to lend their support.
Multiple community members have also pledged their support. Local artist Matt Lanz will be raffling off his on-of-a-kind bronze statue, "My Buffalo Pony," a fitness-a-thon was put on by local fitness centers, over 1,000 people have joined the Facebook group Hope4Hannah and a Go Fund Me page was set up to help raise money.
McCarthy's classmates have also helped with the fundraising effort by putting on a bake sale and sponsoring a school dance. Part of the proceeds from last weeks school talent show were also donated to the cause.
"We are fortunate to live in a small community where so many people are willing to help," said Jackie Stanley, Hannah's mother.
McCarthy is also now part of an organization known as Angel Flight, a volunteer organization of pilots who facilitate the transportation of people in critical medical situations for free.
For more information on how to donate to Friday's auction, contact Hannah's grandfather or mother, John or Jackie at 605-890-0539 or 605-890-1999, visit the Go Fund Me page at www.gofundme.com/3vv9z-hope-for-hannah and join the Facebook group Hope4Hannah.