Fundraiser will help child with sinus cancer

Published 2:29 pm Thursday, May 20, 2010

Anna-Coleman Yelverton was born with a chromosomal abnormality that causes some birth defects like scoliosis, but now, the 8-year-old daughter of Jennifer Thomason is facing another battle with her body.

Anna-Coleman had been sick with a sinus infection since March 25. After weeks of treatments with no results, she had a CAT scan performed that found a cancerous malignant mass that had completely taken over her lower right sinus cavity.

“It had eaten through her nose and started to go across to the other sinus cavity and has eaten through the bone between your eyebrows and is going towards her brain,” said Thomason in an e-mail. “The mass is cutting off her tear duct…and pressing downwards where her adenoids would be, probably causing her throat to hurt, and her right airway is totally constricted, so that’s why she can’t breathe or blow her nose.”

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A biopsy was planned for this week.

To help with the costs of these procedures, friends of Anna-Coleman are putting on a fund-raising get-together at the middle pavilion at Foscue Park on Saturday, May 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Originally billed as a can recycling drive, it has grown to include live music, refreshments and face-painting.

Participants are asked to bring empty cans in bags to Foscue Park. Event organizers will bring the cans to be recycled and donate the money into a special account set up at Robertson Banking Company for Anna-Coleman, where anyone can make a donation.

Jessica Pearson helped to organize the Foscue Park event.

“I really don’t know the family personally — as far as getting information or anything,” she said. “I just heard about her condition from a friend. I just started thinking about it and came up with (the idea for a can drive). It broke my heart, and I figured I had to pitch in some kind of idea.”

Anna-Coleman was named the 2007 Special Child for that year’s Christmas on the River. When her mother was eight months pregnant, doctors believed that the baby’s chromosomal abnormality could cause mental retardation, but found after birth that that was not the case, although it could cause other birth defects. As she grew older, she was apparently behind in her development.

After taking tests at age 3, she began going to speech therapy at Westside Elementary School, which helped her catch up in her development. She is a second-grade student at Westside. She took part in the Little Miss Christmas on the River pageant last December.

For more information about how to contribute, call Pearson at (334) 341-3747.

■ Other events have been set up to benefit medical costs for Anna-Coleman Yelverton.

Willingham Sports is sponsoring a fishing tournament on Saturday, May 22, beginning at 5:15 a.m. at the Demopolis city landing. The entry fee is $110, and refreshments will be provided.

“We’re going to try to give back at least 50 percent,” said store owner Ronnie Willingham. “We’re still going to have $1,000 first-place prize. We’re going to have a raffle for a rod that Boyd Duckett provided and I’ll give a reel to be raffled off.

“There is no way we can pay for the operation, but we can at least help with the hotel and the food. She could be gone for weeks.”

The weigh-in is expected to begin at about 3 p.m. Those wanting to enter the tournament should contact Willingham Sports at (334) 289-4652.

A multi-family yard sale will be held on Saturday, May 22, beginning at 6 a.m. at 1009 Cedar Crest Dr., across from Parr’s central station on U.S. Highway 80. Among the items being sold are toys, children’s clothes, women’s clothes, books, furniture and jewelry. For more information, call Jessica Wilson at (334) 654-1723.

A bake sale will be held on Thursday, May 27, and Friday, May 28, at Money Now Title Loans and Check Advance at 884 U.S. Highway 80 East next to Roberts’ Family Restaurant. Among the items being sold are cookies, cakes and brownies. For more information, call Money Now at 289-4200 or Jessica Wilson at (334) 654-1723.