A fundraiser to benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation is set for Sunday at Cagle’s Family Farm in the Hickory Flat community of Canton.
The event, planned for 1 to 4 p.m., will feature games, a petting zoo, face painting and other family activities. Admission is $15 and children younger than 2.
Money raised will go to assist in finding a cure for neurofibromatosis. Local 7-year-old Catherine Lee has the disease.
“We love to make people aware of this condition which affects one in 3,000 births now,” said her grandmother, Shirley Mensching.
Her family had no idea what NF was until her doctor suspected she might have it due to the amount and location of pigmented spots on her body called café-au-lait spots, her grandmother said.
She was just 1 year old at that time. Catherine was officially diagnosed with NF in January 2009 at the age of 2.
NF is more prevalent than cystic fibrosis, inherited muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease, and Tay-Sachs combined, she said.
“It affects people of all races and ethnic origins, and half of all cases arise in families with no history of the disorder. Anyone’s next child could be born with this disorder,” she said.
NF causes tumors to grow on any nerve in the body. It can lead to deafness, blindness, learning disabilities, bone deformities, disfigurement, chronic pain, cancer and a wide range of other complications.
“Her family was devastated to learn that she had a type of brain tumor called an optic nerve glioma,” Mensching said.
More recently, she has been diagnosed with a plexiform neurofibroma, which is a more complex type of tumor on her scalp behind the ear.
“Catherine must have numerous doctor visits each year, but she always takes it in stride and remains a happy little girl. ... Though for Catherine (and others with NF) the future is uncertain,” she said.
Annual fundraisers are held to raise money for research. The Children’s Tumor Foundation is charged with finding a cure for NF.
“We also present information to the public about NF to gain awareness and support for a cure,” Mensching said.
In case of rain the event will be rescheduled and a new date announced.
For more information about the disease, visit www.ctf.org.
For information about the fundraising efforts, email curenfga@ gamail.com.