DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Members of the SeDoMoCha school community have held several fundraisers to benefit an eighth-grader and her family while she is undergoing treatment for a cancerous bone tumor.
“She was diagnosed in April of 2012 with Ewing’s sarcoma, which is rare form of bone cancer,” said special education teacher Andrea Philbrick-Cooper of Raven Nally.
She said Nally has been undergoing chemotherapy and has had several surgeries, including an operation to remove part of a bone.
Through all the treatments Nally has been “an incredible kid with lots of spirit,” said Philbrick-Cooper. “She inspires us to help her.”
Philbrick-Cooper said that in the late spring of 2012 a spaghetti supper and silent auction raised several thousand dollars for Nally and her family.
“We also did dress-down days on Fridays,” she said. “Staff was able to wear jeans,” in exchange for a donation which went to Nally.
“This [school] year, on Nov. 30, we did a dance,” Philbrick-Cooper said, referring to the “Rock for Raven!” evening for middle school students.
“She helped come up with a design of the flier,” which included eight silhouettes of people dancing as well as a ribbon and the words “Sarcoma Awareness” stamped on it, Philbrick-Cooper said. “She was able to come briefly that night.”
“The kids really came and supported her,” she said, adding that Rock for Raven! had a higher attendance than other SeDoMoCha Middle School dances and raised more than $950. The event included free-throw and sing-off contests, which students entered by making a small monetary contribution. The SeDoMoCha school organization donated gift certificates for the winners.
“Just before Christmas we had a hot cocoa party,” seventh-grade science teacher Mary Povak said.
She said students in her team, which is composed of pupils in multiple grades, and several others organized the party, where students watched a movie and were able to purchase baked goods with proceeds benefiting Nally.
“The kids really like helping,” Povak said. She said the bake sale at the hot cocoa party raised about $200.
While Nally has undergone treatments, technology specialists at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor have worked to keep her connected to the classroom at SeDoMoCha. The audio-video equipment, used by the hospital to connect physicians throughout the state, enables Nally to stay up to speed with classmates and school work and also stay in touch with her family in Dover-Foxcroft.