A soup supper and live and silent auctions for Emily and Elizabeth Webster will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday at the United Veterans Club at 1914 West Capital Ave. in Grand Island.
Between Emily and Elizabeth Webster, a working mom and her daughter, they have been diagnosed with six different cancers.
Both Emily and Elizabeth are diagnosed with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, which is an inherited familiar predispostion to a wide range of certain, often rare cancers. Both Emily, 33, and Elizabeth, 12, are highly susceptible to reoccurring cancer throughout their lives because of Li-Fraumeni Syndrome.
At the age of 5, Emily had a tumor on her adrenal gland; at 14, she was diagnosed with leukemia; at 28, she was diagnosed with leiomyosactcoma, a type of soft tissue sarcoma. Soft tissue sarcomas can develop in muscle, fat, blood vessels or any of the other tissues that support, surround and protect the organs of the body. Currently, doctors are watching a suspicious spot on Emily’s leg.
Her 12-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with rhabodomyoscarcoma, an aggressive and highly malignant form of cancer that develops from skeletal (striated) muscle cells that have failed to fully differentiate. It is generally considered to be a disease of childhood, as the vast majority of cases occur before the age of 18.
At age 11, Elizabeth had a quarter-sized brain tumor (medulloblastoma) removed in October 2019. Medulloblastoma is a cancerous tumor — also called cerebellar primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET) — that starts in the region of the brain at the base of the skull, called the posterior fossa. These tumors tend to spread to other parts of the brain and to the spinal cord.
Because both Emily and Elizabeth have been diagnosed with Li-Fraumeni, they are highly susceptible to reoccurring cancer throughout their life and must be diligent with continued doctor appointments and screenings to hopefully catch the cancers in the early stages.
But that diligence is costly. That is why the fundraiser on Saturday, with dinner from 4 to 8 and the auction at 8, will raise money to help them. Elizabeth is a working mom with medical costs that insurance doesn’t cover, living expenses while she is off work for her and Elizabeth’s appointments and treatments, and travel costs since their doctors are located in Omaha.
The organizers of the fundraiser said the money will help take away some of the family’s financial burden so they can concentrate on treating their illnesses as Li-Fraumeni is a lifelong battle.
While Elizabeth has had to battle the impacts of Li-Fraumeni Syndrome during her young life, it hasn’t stopped her from being an active young person in her community. During the various Hero Flight hamburger fundraisers that have been held to raise money to take veterans to Washington, D.C., Elizabeth and her friends have helped her grandfather, Mike Ponte, at the fundraisers.
The public is welcome to attend the fundraiser on Saturday for Emily and Elizabeth. Also, an account has been established at Five Points Bank, FBO Elizabeth Webster, for monetary donations.
All money raised will be used toward medical costs that are not covered by insurance and living expenses.