‘Hope for Mason’ fundraiser slated

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 5, 2014

Burlington Elementary second-grader Mason McMillian spent a good part of last December in Cabell Huntington Hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Mason, 8, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on Dec. 1, which is a form of leukemia, or cancer of the white blood cells, characterized by excess lymphoblasts. ALL means malignant, immature white blood cells continuously multiply and are overproduced in the bone marrow. ALL causes damage and death by crowding out normal cells in the bone marrow, and by spreading (infiltrating) to other organs. ALL is most common in childhood with a peak incidence at 2–5 years of age, and another peak in old age.

At 8 a.m. on Feb. 8, an indoor yard sale fundraiser for Mason will be held at the South Point Community Center.

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Mason’s mother, Ashley, and her fiancé, Jeff Harmon, have been taking Mason to Cabell Huntington Hospital’s oncology department twice a week since his release from ICU on Dec. 15 for chemotherapy treatments. Beginning Jan. 6, he will begin receiving those treatments four times a week.

“We are trying to raise money to help offset the costs of the transport to and from treatment and some medications we have to buy out of pocket,” Harmon said. “We also want to raise enough money to buy ‘Hope for Mason’ bracelets he can give to his supporters.”

Until Mason’s white blood cell count increases, he is relegated to wearing a mask; leukemia, like cancer, increases one’s susceptibility of viral or bacterial infections.

Both donated and personal items will be sold at the event and those interested in donating can contact Harmon at 740-414-0652 or notify Ashley via Mason’s Facebook page by searching “Hope for Mason.”