Malorie's Story: 4-year-old's Battle with Rare Brain Tumor
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Help comes when you least expect it, but often times when you need it the most. For the Abernathys that came from a total stranger helping their family, and their daughter's fight against cancer.
Last summer Jim and Melissa noticed that Malorie was constantly leaning her head to the left. They also noticed a bump on the back of her shoulder. Tests later revealed that Malorie had a rare brain tumor and needed immediate surgery.
The Abernathys spent the night at the hospital, and Malorie went into surgery the next day. The surgery seemed to be successful, although Malorie had to learn to eat, and to walk all over again.
The medical bills since have taken a toll on the Abernathy family. Jim and Melissa, who both work for the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office, have been forced to take extended leaves from work. Melissa just recently went back, leaving Jim to take care of Malorie and her older sister Tatum.
"It's definitely opened up my eyes to a different world," said Jim, who's more used to studying crime scenes than medicine labels. "I'm just glad that I can be there for my daughter while we're going through this."
Malorie's story has touched not only the Abernathy's friends and family, but total strangers as well.
Jim Abernathy received a call recently from David Carrillo. Carrillo didn't know Jim or his family, but had heard Malorie's story from a mutual friend, and wanted to help.
"It just kinda pulled on me," said Carrillo. "I have a daughter that's eleven years old, and I said 'Well I might have an idea.'"
Carrillo, who's an avid pool player, organized a pool tournament to be held this weekend with the proceeds going to Malorie and her family.
"A dollar has no value, because we waste a dollar every day," Carrillo said. "But if a classroom full of people were to give one dollar, then that one dollar would become very powerful and we could do so much with it."
Four year old Malorie's still doing chemotherapy, because the cancer's not gone yet.
"We did another MRI, and there was sign of a regrowth," said Melissa. "That was coming back in the same area."
Melissa Abernathy knows that her daughter's in a fight, but she stays focused on Malorie's recent successes.
"I know if she's come from there to here in five and a half months, where's she gonna be in another five and a half months?" Abernathy said.
THE BENEFIT POOL TOURNAMENT FOR MALORIE WILL BE HELD AT FOX AND HOUND PUB AND GRILLE SUNDAY OCTOBER 4TH, 2009. CALL 405-436-4625 FOR MORE INFO.
ALSO, THE MIDWEST CITY POLICE DEPT IS HOLDING THE 3RD ANNUAL STEVE OWENS POKER RUN ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2009. PROCEEDS WILL BENEFIT THE ABERNATHY FAMILY. FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THE POKER RUN, VISIT www.webackthebadge.com/sobr OR CALL 405-306-2794.