Milo area coming together for fundraiser for teen with cancer

Posted March 15, 2011, at 9:28 p.m.

MILO, Maine — Though his hometown is the small Hancock County town of Brooklin, 15-year-old Brandon Higgins’ paternal roots are firmly planted in the soil of Piscataquis County.

His grandparents Ivan and Charlotte Higgins are longtime residents of Milo. Brandon’s father, Kevin Higgins, is a 1986 graduate of Penquis Valley High School and his aunt Kim Higgins graduated from the Milo high school in 1997.

That’s why residents of Milo and surrounding towns are gearing up for a benefit supper to help cover some of the medical and other expenses Brandon’s family has incurred since Jan. 28, when the teenager was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor in his brain stem called a glioma, according to Jeff Demers, president of the PVHS Alumni Association.

Demers said Tuesday that he grew up across the street from the Higgins family and was helping Brandon’s grandparents organize the fundraiser.

In interviews last month, Brandon’s mother, Louanne Higgins, said Brandon is undergoing radiation treatments in the hope of shrinking the tumor.

Demers said his employer, JSI Store Fixtures, already has donated $100 for the benefit, but he and Charlotte Higgins hope to raise much, much more.

The supper, set for 5-7 p.m. Saturday, March 26, will feature a menu of baked beans, hot dogs, casseroles, rolls, desserts and beverages, Brandon’s grandmother said Tuesday.

Donations will be accepted at the door, where tickets for a 50-50 raffle can be purchased.

Also for sale will be the green Team Brandon wristbands that members of the Boston Celtics wore during the NBA All-Star game Brandon and his family attended in Los Angeles last month, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the NBA Cares program.

“We’ve got a lot of good food coming,” she said, adding that the high school cafeteria will be decorated with lots of green — the Celts’ team color.

In a brief update Tuesday, Charlotte Higgins said her grandson continues to hold his own. She said Brandon, a tall, lanky boy, has gained a bit of weight because of some of the medications he has been taking. If Brandon is feeling well enough, he might attend the bean supper.

For information about future fundraisers or to follow Brandon’s journey, visit www.brandonsrecovery.com. The website has a mechanism for contributions and links to a Facebook page and other information.

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