By STACY MILLBERG
Nine-year-old Hunter Perry has endured more in the past few months than most people do in a lifetime.
The fourth-grader at Grand Valley Elementary School is battling Burkitt’s lymphoma, a rapidly growing form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Since his diagnosis, the Grand Valley community has rallied together in support of Hunter and his family. Several benefits and fundraisers have been held in the past few months with the last one scheduled for Saturday.
A pasta dinner and Chinese auction will be held at the Grand Valley High School Auditeria from 4 to 7 p.m. Included in the ticket price is a pasta dinner, rolls, salad, beverage and dessert as well as 10 tickets for the Chinese auction, said Lynette Gregory, one of the event coordinators.
Tickets are available for $10 for adults and $7 for children and seniors.
Gregory said there are a lot of great items that have been donated for the auction including a bike, two mini football helmets autographed by Trent Richardson of the Cleveland Browns as well as one signed by John Elway. An autographed football signed by Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie also will be featured in the auction.
Gregory said Hunter’s prognosis is good. He is currently at U.H. Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital undergoing another round of chemotherapy. He has at least one more round of chemo to go, she said.
Hunter has already faced one surgery and two rounds of chemo in his young life. He is hospitalized every time he has chemo treatments, Gregory said.
Burkitt’s lymphoma is recognized as the fastest growing human tumor and can double in size overnight. It accounts for up to 40 percent of pediatric lymphoma cases in the U.S. and western Europe, according to webmd.com.
With prompt diagnosis and intensive chemotherapy treatment, Burkitt’s carries long-term survival rates of 60 to 90 percent in children.
For more information about the benefit dinner, contact Gregory at 440-321-0800. For more information about the Chinese auction, contact Cookie Yoder at 724-815-1329.