Birthday Party Raises Over $3300 for LGDA
The family of a Canton, Ohio, area boy with GLA/lymphangiomatosis celebrated his 3rd birthday by hosting a fundraiser to benefit the LGDA. About 150 people attended the event on July 29, 2017, hosted by Linda Sutherland, the boy’s aunt, who provided the following description of the event:
We started out by creating an invitation to our Birthday Bash/Fundraiser to honor Adrian’s 3rd birthday after his mother, Diana Westren, asked that instead of gifts people donate to the LGD Alliance.
Adrian was diagnosed with lymphangiomatosis when he was about 14 months old. At a well child check up with his pediatrician to get his 12 month immunizations Diana asked the pediatrician if Adrian might have asthma. Adrian seemed to always have a cough. The doctor listened to his lungs and recommended a chest x-ray. The x-ray showed what the doctors thought was an enlarged heart but it was later determined to be fluid that had built up around his heart. The fluid turned out to be chylous fluid. Diana registered with the International LGDA Registry for Lymphatic Malformations and the LGD Alliance website and resources became a life line for her. With little known about the extremely rare disease, she tirelessly researched and reached out to others through the forum. Adrian has been hospitalized several times in his 3 years, most recently with fluid building up around his lungs on both sides. His mother is constantly by his side and has been supportive to others who have this disease. She is an unyielding advocate for his care.
As we invited people to our birthday bash, people started volunteering their help and money! My next door neighbor had worked fundraisers before and she was a huge help. I couldn’t have done it without her. I am a high school teacher and 3 teachers, 20 cheerleaders, and 5 of our football players volunteered to serve cake, make cotton candy, work our registration table and bake sale, sell t-shirts, play games, do crafts and paint faces. We had hot dogs, chips, soda, cupcakes and of course birthday cake. We advertised it as a Kid Friendly event and had it at one of our local parks. The pavilion was free for township residents. We had donations of baked goods and silent auction baskets. The balloon twister and face painter offered us a much discounted price since it was for a charity event. We encouraged people if they were unable to attend, to please donate blood through their local red cross. As people arrived at the fundraiser, we gave them a “Welcome to our Birthday Bash” card and some pamphlets about the work of the LGD Alliance.
Through our Facebook campaign, friends, neighbors and family donated over $2,000. The birthday bash raised about $1300. Donations are still coming in and some people donated directly to the LGDA. I think that we will get pretty close to $4,000 raised in total. Pretty good for our first attempt!
As the Facebook event was shared a woman in Cleveland saw our post. She messaged me and said that her daughter also has lymphangiomatosis and so we became friends. Adrian was in the hospital at the time. Through chatting, we found that Adrian and Grace have the same doctor. There were even a couple days that Grace and Adrian were in the Cleveland Clinic at the same time. She is an adorable, bright, energetic 11-year-old that came in and visited with Adrian. Grace and her family attended the fundraiser.”