Event benefits child cancer survivor

Published 10:35 pm Monday, May 13, 2013

Suffolk’s Donna Perry believes fate has led her to organize a benefit for a girl battling rare medical conditions and whom she has never met.

The story of Madison Arnot, diagnosed with colon cancer at 10, was revealed to her on a Facebook page.

“This little girl has crossed my path many times, for some reason,” Perry said. “Something just tells me this is something I need to do.”

Madison Arnot, a Suffolk girl who has fought cancer and now has been diagnosed with a rare form of Crohn’s disease, will benefit from a fundraiser set for this weekend at Madigan’s. She is shown here participating in the 2010 Relay For Life with her father, James Arnot.

Madison Arnot, a Suffolk girl who has fought cancer and now has been diagnosed with a rare form of Crohn’s disease, will benefit from a fundraiser set for this weekend at Madigan’s. She is shown here participating in the 2010 Relay For Life with her father, James Arnot.

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The fundraiser, planned for this Saturday at Madigan’s Restaurant, 425 E. Pinner St., will include a car wash from 1 to 5 p.m., corn hole tournament from 1 p.m. and pool contest from 5 p.m. The karaoke contest begins at 9:30 p.m.

Hotdogs, hamburgers and barbecue, served with French fries, will cost $2 each, and there will be a steak special — $13.95 with salad and one side.

“Part of dinner proceeds will go to the Arnot family,” said Perry, whose brother Mike Justice owns Madigan’s.

A 50/50 raffle is also planned — tickets will sell for $1 or six for $5. The winner gets half the prize pool, and the Arnot family the other half. There will also be lucky door prizes.

Folks can also donate toys and craft items on the day. Perry plans to put together two toy boxes, one for the Arnot family and the other for the children on Madison’s floor at The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

“Someone has already donated one big box of toys,” Perry said.

Perry has also organized a “Facebook challenge” to raise enough money to buy Madison a tablet device. “She spends a lot of time at doctors’ offices, and that will give her something to do,” she said.

“I have two healthy, grown children of my own, thank God, and I really can’t image what that family is going through.”

Madison, 13, has familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), a genetically inherited cancer-causing gene.

Her mother, Monica Arnot, said that while Madison is now officially cancer-free, she recently became only the 41st person in the world to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that is a rare form of Crohn’s.

Drugs suppressing her immune system are keeping her alive, Arnot said, and together with the intravenous feeding, dressing changes and so much more, the cost has been “astronomical.”

“We are actually fighting with the insurance company now,” she said. “It’s a new company, and they don’t want to pay for anything.

“What they don’t realize is that what they don’t want to pay for is keeping her alive. It’s a fight we shouldn’t have to fight.”

Monica Arnot said her daughter’s “frame of mind has always been a smile,” which helps the rest of the family cope.

For more details on the fundraiser, or to make a donation, call Donna Perry at 679-3993.