EDDINGTON, Maine — The parents of Nicolas LaPlante knew there was something wrong with their baby boy, and after months of testing they recently found out he has a rare type of brain cancer that required surgery at Boston’s Children’s Hospital.
Their 1-year-old had the surgery on Sept. 2, but the cancer has a tight hold on the infant and the prognosis is not good, said resident Susan Dunham Shane, who is helping to get the word out about local fundraising efforts to support the family.
“The cancer is on the brain and wrapped around the spinal cord,” she said. “The whole family is devastated.”
Nicolas’ parents, Christi and Derick LaPlante, are in Boston with their son while he is recovering from the surgery.
His aunt Marie Giorgi approached the board of the Eddington-Clifton Civic Center, known locally as Comins Hall, about holding a charity supper to help support the family, which was approved and is scheduled for this evening, Shane said.
“There are two seatings, at 5:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m., and the cost is $6 per person,” she said.
The spaghetti dinner will include several sauces, salad, Italian bread and homemade desserts.
“His family is responsible for all costs for this operation and the costs of his parents staying with him in Boston,” Shane said. “He faces many months of chemotherapy following this operation and his mother will be unable to work during this time.”
The funds raised during the dinner will be used to defray those costs, she said.
Shane said there also would be a raffle at the supper. Local businesses have donated prizes, including dining certificates from restaurants and six-packs of lobsters. More donations are being received daily, she said.
Donation jars have been placed at area stores, and people are showing their support, deputy Town Clerk Christine Smith said Thursday. The town is handling the collected funds for the family, which so far have totaled around $950, she said.
“The stores have money jars and some people have sent checks,” Smith said.
Those who want to support the family, but can’t make it to the dinner, can drop off donations at the town hall or in one of the donation jars, Shane said.