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Smiles For Sarah Benefit
Sarah McElheny just turned eight years old in August 2012. Sarah lives in Oak Lawn with her parents and two older brothers. Sarah had always been an active, happy, healthy and loving little girl. Sarah loved going to school and was a good student. She was also a proud cheerleader for the local youth football league.
March 8, 2012, Sarah was diagnosed with Leukemia. Sarah’s life, and the lives of all her family, friends, and acquaintances changed forever. Sarah began a rigorous routine of chemotherapy trying to fight the cancer that had invaded her young body. Between treatments, Sarah faced every day as it arrived with a smile and an inner strength that most grown adults could not endure. She dealt with the sickness and the body pain that accompanied the treatments, and she played on her good days like a natural, unaffected, and wonderful eight year old girl.
On August 3rd, Sarah went in for another chemotherapy treatment. She told her doctor that she didn’t feel well and the doctor decided to keep her in the hospital for observation. During that evening Sarah slipped into a coma. After many tests, the doctors determined that Sarah had been infected with West Nile Virus. Since Sarah’s immune system was so weak, the virus quickly escalated into a rare neuroinvasive disease termed West Nile meningitis/encephalitis. This sweet loving child is still in a coma, fighting silently for a chance to run and play and enjoy carefree days again - the way an eight year old child should. All Proceeds from this benefit will be used to help all aspects of Sarah’s long term recovery and ongoing fight. She will have an intensive long term recovery from West Nile Virus, and then will have to continue her battle against the Leukemia.
Sarah’s family spends each day by her side in the hospital waiting and praying for any sign of improvement. We all join with them in loving thoughts and prayers – hoping that their prayers will be answered. Sarah’s family is very proud, and would never ask for help. They are also very private. They are personally living through every family’s worst nightmare with a peaceful class and a positive attitude, only concerned for their Sarah. The family and friends of Sarah and the entire McElheny family want to something to help this wonderful family. We need your help!