Corydon girl, hit third time with cancer, tries stem cell transplants
A Corydon girl who is battling her third round of cancer is now trying stem cell transplants as a way to beat the often deadly disease.
Maggie Bays was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma late in the summer of 2005, just months before her 10th birthday. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments kept the Corydon Elementary School student home, where she received tutoring so she wouldn’t fall behind in her school work.
Things began looking up for the youngster and she was able to join her classmates last spring. But subsequent tests revealed more cancer cells, forcing Maggie to undergo more treatments and to spend more time at home.
Now that the cancer has returned a third time, the family is trying stem cell transplants.
Shelly Woodrome, Maggie’s aunt, said the first stem cell transplant was done in April. The cells were taken from Maggie’s body, but the cancer has progressed so much that the next transplant will have to come from a donor. The family has decided to have the procedures done at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
But before any additional stem cells are transplanted, Maggie has to have more chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells.
The commute and overnight stays away from home are costly, so Woodrome has formed a committee to help raise funds for the Bays family. She said the family will eventually rent an apartment in the Cincinnati area to remain near the hospital while Maggie is receiving her treatments.
Serving on the committee besides Woodrome are two former teachers of Maggie’s, church members from Lincoln Hills Christian in Corydon and its director of children’s ministry and three friends of the Bays family.
‘Sometimes, it’s not the quantity of life, but the quality of life,’ Woodrome said. So the group is also accepting craft kits, such as beading, jewelry, painting and knitting, as well as puzzles ‘ all things that Maggie enjoys doing. ‘We are just trying to help make sure that if Maggie feels like doing something, it’s there for her to do. It gives her something to look forward to.’
Maggie also tries to keep up with sixth-grade school work. Many items needed for home-schooling have been donated to the family.
Lincoln Hills Christian Church will host a benefit concert for the Bays family next Wednesday evening at 7. The Good Twins ‘ identical twin brothers Dwight and Dwayne ‘ will perform at the free-will offering concert. The twins, who began singing at the age of 3, have traveled nearly 3 million miles to perform more than 8,000 concerts in 24 different countries. They have released 33 albums and were selected to sing in the Promise Keepers Choir back in 1997.
The committee has another benefit planned on Saturday, Sept. 29, as part of Cockadoodle Days. Family and friends will have a booth at the ‘mega yard sale.’ They are seeking donations of items to sell.
Anyone wishing to donate items should call Woodrome at 736-9909 or 734-0624 or Ellen Nord at 1-502-639-0692 or 738-6199. They will meet donors or pick up the items for them.
A quilt, donated by Donna Thomas, owner of Hollyhock quilt shop west of Corydon, will be raffled the same day as the yard sale. Thomas is selling the chances at her shop, located off S.R. 62. For more information about the quilt, call 738-1312.
Other upcoming fundraisers include a Poker Run and golf scramble; dates and details are being finalized.
Family and friends are being invited to help celebrate Maggie’s 12th birthday on Nov. 16. The location hasn’t been secured yet, but Woodrome is working on those arrangements.
Maggie’s progress can be viewed online at www.Caringbridge.org. Go to the ‘Visit’ section and type in ‘Maggiecurls.’ There is a place for viewers to also send a personal message to Maggie.
Donations to the Bays family can also be made at any First Harrison Bank; designate ‘Maggie Bays Benefit Fund’ in the memo line.