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Benefit planned for Croghan girl with brain cancer

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NAUMBURG — A benefit is being planned for mid-September to assist the family of a young Croghan girl diagnosed with brain cancer.

Cassia Olmstead, 5, the daughter of Nathan and Denise Olmstead, was recently diagnosed with grade 4 medulloblastoma after having surgery at a Syracuse hospital to remove a tumor from her brain.

“It’s going to be a long road for them,” said Cassia’s aunt, Jennifer Olmstead.

Cassia just began chemotherapy this week, with plans to conduct five more cycles through the end of the year, Mrs. Olmstead said. Four of the six cycles will require at least five-day stays in Syracuse, and many other trips to the hospital will also be required between treatments, she said.

Doctors are hoping to avoid radiation treatments because of potential long-term effects, Mrs. Olmstead said.

The family is “doing the best that can be expected” but are requesting prayer that the tumor responds to the chemotherapy, that Cassia is able to handle the therapies and be cooperative and that she and her siblings would be able to understand the situation as well as possible.

The fundraiser — set to cover the costs of medical expenses, transportation and other needs relating to Cassia’s care — will include a meal of jerked pork loin and marinated chicken breasts by Miller’s Meat Market in Watson from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 19, at the Naumburg Mennonite Church on Route 410. Meals will also include macaroni and potato salads, baked beans, corn, rolls with butter and dessert.

The cost will be on a donation basis, and take-outs will be available.

A silent auction featuring donated items from Northern New York and Lancaster, Pa., will be held from 4 to 9 p.m.

A photo booth will also be set up at the event, with free photos offered by Connie Noftsier of All Things Beautiful Photography.

Anyone interested in donating food or items for the auction — like gift certificates, new items or gift baskets — is asked to call Karen Olmstead at 681-7400. The deadline is Sept. 15.

Monetary donations to the family may be sent by mail to Olmstead Fund, c/o Naumburg Mennonite Church, PO Box 124, Castorland, NY 13620. Checks should be written out to Naumburg Mennonite Church.

Tax receipts will be available upon request or if the donation is more $250, but contact information must be included.

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