On Sun, Aug. 18 Bags of Hope are hosting a barbecue fundraiser for local native Melanie Mills to raise awareness and assist her and her family while she battles brain cancer.
Mills, 17, recently graduated from PECI in June.
Following her graduation Mills started complaining of migraines and headaches and she atteneded the hopsital where a CAT scan revealed the cause of the head issues. It wasn’t the answer the Mills family was hoping as doctors discovered brain cancer.
An emergency surgery was completed July 3 where the surgeons removed 90 per cent of the tumour.
Subsequently, two more surgeries have been performed, the most recent procedure coming in the last week.
“She has lost her peripheral vision in her right eye,” said Lisa Zachariah, co-owner/operator for Bags of Hope. “The doctors don’t know if this is permanent or temporary and, in another couple weeks there going to be starting radiation and then the chemotherpay treatment.”
Bags of Hope was started by Zachariah and her family about three years ago when they wanted to support local people going through cancer treatments. Numerous items from water bottles, travel mugs, throw blankets, hand sanitizer, a journal and pens along with gas cards and a Tim Hortons gift card are some of the items included in a “Bag of Hope.’
“We started off doing these campaigns, never realizing how many people we would touch and reach out to,” Zachariah expressed. “Our family takes this very emotionally and it means a lot to all of us.”
The fundraiser was originally going to be hosted at Big Momma’s Canteen at the Picton Fairgrounds but the venue has changed to the foyer just inside Huff Arena (Prince Edward Community Centre).
The fundraiser will consist of a barbecue, bake sale and silent auction. The Prince Edward County Fire Department will be providing the barbecue, propane and their time as they cook and handout the hotdogs, hamburgers and sausages.
“I’ve been getting text messages and private messages saying ‘what can we do?’ and I’m beyond grateful for all the support because we wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the local help,” stated Zachariah. “The Mills family is facing a tough road ahead and haven’t been actively looking for any help until now so we are trying to make this a big event and get as much awareness out there about what this family is going through.”
For more information please contact Lisa at 613-403-4784 or visit Bags of Hope Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/bagsofhopepec