Benefit planned for 3-year-old with cancer

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, October 6, 2012
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BATTLING FOR CARLY – A fundraiser benefiting Carly Berkley Hood, 3, of Bridgeport is Saturday at Jewel Park in Chico. Carly has been battling metastatic medulloblastoma for a year. Submitted photo

A fundraiser benefiting 3-year-old Carly Berkley Hood of Bridgeport is Saturday at Jewel Park in Chico.

The daughter of Micheala Hood and Seth Weatherly has been battling metastatic medulloblastoma for a year.

The “Battling for Carly” all-day benefit includes three different tournament – softball, horseshoes and washers – at the park on Farm Road 1810 in Chico.

Softball games, which will follow U.S. Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) rules, begin at 8 a.m. Participants must be at least 16 years old, and cost is $200 per team.

Register by calling Michael McDonald at (940) 389-7369.

The single-elimination horseshoe tournament starts at 10 a.m. Cost is $20 per team, and players must be at least 13 years old.

A single-elimination washer tournament begins at 2 p.m. Cost is $20 per team, and participants must be at least 13.

There will also be a concession stand selling lunch.

In September 2011, Carly was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, cancerous tumors down the length of her spine and around her brain.

After spending most of seven months in isolation at Cook Children’s Medical Center, she returned home in March.

She continued radiation, which the family still hopes will “work in overtime” on the tumors, but she is no longer getting any treatments.

“There’s nothing else we can do,” her mother said.

However, the family received good news last month when MRIs came back showing improvement – a little on the tumors on her lumbar spine and brain, a lot on the thoracic spine. The tumors on her cervical spine and neck have almost completely dissolved.

Carly will have an MRI, a lumbar puncture, echocardiogram and the visual evoked potential (VEP) test on Oct. 15 and will undergo a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) test, a six-hour kidney procedure, the next day.

She expects to start the special education program at Bridgeport ISD within the next few weeks, pending the results of tests.

“Carly is the strongest little girl I know,” her grandmother, Betty Weatherly said. “She has been through so much, but yet she smiles and laughs through it all … she can be very demanding at times, and, of course, her Granny Paula and Grammy Betty let her be that way.

“She has just now started walking some, and I get tears in my eyes when I see her walk. What determination that took! I think my strength and character would have gone out the window long before now. Carly has so many prayer warriors out there and all of her family’s love – that is what is going to get her through this.”

Other grandparents are Harvey Weatherly and Mike and Melissa Hood, all of Wise County, and Paula Thompson of Mineral wells.

For those who cannot attend the event but wish to assist the family, a fund has been set up in Carly’s name at First State Bank in Bridgeport.

“The community means a lot to Micheala and Seth. It’s been hard because Micheala can’t work. Carly’s care is 24/7,” Betty said. “When it’s getting tough, the community steps in and helps these kids.”

Carly was featured in the Dec. 28, 2011, and March 31, 2012, editions of the Messenger.

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