Benefit to aid girl’s battle with cancer

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PERRY COUNTY – A benefit band jam and silent auction Saturday will raise money for a 7-year-old girl’s ongoing battle with cancer.

The band jam from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Perry County 4-H Fairgrounds will feature Elsie’s Shack. Cost of admission to the benefit is $15 per person or $25 per couple.

Lydia Haycraft, age 7, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma bone cancer in October 2011, when she was only 5. During 2011 and 2012, she went through 14 cycles of chemotherapy, 40 days of radiation and more than a dozen surgeries.

In December of last year, doctors said Haycraft was in remission, but only three months later, scans showed the cancer had returned. Tests revealed multiple tumors, one of which had metastasized to the bone.

Once it has spread, Lydia’s type of cancer often grows aggressively. Thus she began more chemotherapy and had other surgeries.

Despite the ordeal, Lydia has not let her illness defeat her personality.

“She has a great attitude and doesn’t let things get her down,” her mom, Tiffany Sommer, said Monday. “The first time she said we would beat (the cancer) and when it came back, she said we’d do it again.

She’s been sick more and she knows how serious the cancer is, but she won’t give up. She will never give up.”

Lydia, who would be in second grade at Perry Central, is being home-schooled because of her cancer battle. She spends a week at Kosair’s Hospital in Louisville each time she receives a chemotherapy treatment and returns each week to see physicians, undergo tests and to receive platelets.

Saturday’s auction will include several items, including a Schwab safe, tickets to Mesker Park Zoo, IU sporting events, Evansville Icemen and many gift certificates. New items were still be donated this week.

Tiffany’s husband, Chris Sommer, and his family are among Lydia’s biggest supporters and have organized the fundraiser.