In her career as a nurse, Traci Bovee of Morenci has followed many children’s battles with disease through the Caring Bridge website.
Caring Bridge allows the parents of an ill child to post updates for friends and family members to read—and even for strangers to follow. At the same time, it gives parents a means of emotional support through writings on the guest book page.
Traci is no stranger to one of the newer Caring Bridge subjects. She suggested that Susan Pierce start a page for her daughter, Abby, who was recently diagnosed with precursor B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
After the first week, Abby’s page had more than 400 visitors.
“It’s really great support for Susan,” Traci said.
Susan explains on the website that five-year-old Abby was taken to Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor and the next morning she underwent surgery to place a port for medications. Chemotherapy began the next day.
“I had not even wrapped my brain around the fact that she had cancer, and all of these things were happening,” Susan wrote. “Everything happened so fast!”
Abby was in the hospital for six days and had trouble being away from her twin sister, Chelsea. Since then she’s made some return visits to Mott due to complications.
Abby’s cancer is the most common type to affect children. When detected and treated, ALL generally leads to a positive prognosis and cure if the patient is able to remain on the treatment regimen. Without complications, treatment usually spans two years.
Two years of treatments can be financially devastating to a family. Traci has read story after story about the challenges families face. That’s what made her think about Susan and Bill Pierce. They’ll face a lot of trips to Mott and to the emergency room over the next few months. There will be gas, food and lodging costs.
She decided to organize a fund-raiser for the family and the event is set at the Morenci American Legion Home on May 26. A hog roast is planned, along with a 50/50 drawing and live and silent auctions. Auction donations can be made by calling Traci at 517/306-7028.
She’s also planning a “Cookies for Abby” fund raiser. This would be used to buy items to help keep Abby occupied while she’s in the hospital. Pie will be sold by the slice and a variety of activities for kids is planned.
Raffle tickets are available for free lodging at the Wyndham Towers in Myrtle Beach. A friend of Abby’s grandmother, Marsha Pierce, offered five days of her timeshare for the drawing winner.
T-shirts are available now for $10 to show support for Abby.
Gas cards and cards for restaurant meals are also being collected.
“The response is really great. Everybody has been wonderful about donating,” Traci said. “So many people want to help.”