A fundraiser to benefit a local cancer-stricken kindergartner raised about $26,000 on Friday night, according to the child’s mother.
Lakeview Academy hosted Addi Strong Night to benefit Addi Bales, a kindergartner at the school who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma last year.
“We were completely blown away by the generosity of people,” said Holly Bales, Addi’s mother. “We are just speechless. We’re grateful, we’re thankful, but we’re so undeserving.”
The Bales family received all the proceeds from the junior varsity and girls’ and boys’ varsity basketball games to help with medical costs.
“We just thank everybody for what they did,” Holly Bales said.
After receiving her diagnosis, Addi immediately underwent a 10-week round of chemotherapy and surgery to remove a portion of her femur, or thigh bone. Upon testing the tumor after its removal, medical professionals concluded the chemotherapy had been 99 percent effective.
Addi is on her way to being declared cancer-free, but the battle may not yet be over.
“She will have extensive physical therapy this summer, rehab, that kind of stuff,” Holly Bales said.
Another potential issue is that Addi received a bone allograft, the transplant of a bone from a donor or bone bank, to replace her cancerous femur, a process somewhat similar to an organ transplant.
And as with any organ transplant, there remains uncertainty.
“There could be other surgeries down the road, possibly,” Holly Bales said. “Hopefully not. You hope for the best, but the reality is there could be.”
The Addi Strong fundraising team has also been selling T-shirts, which can still be purchased on the website addistrong.com. Individuals can also continue to make donations to the Addi Strong page on caringbridge.com.
Despite having been through such a difficult ordeal, Addi’s favorite moment of the evening had nothing to do with the event’s huge success.
“Probably everybody in pink and when they started chanting ‘Addi’,” Holly Bales said. “I think that really put a smile on her face.”