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Benefit to aid young girl with cancer

| April 17, 2013

allies-rally009COSHOCTON – Allie Norman is a typical nine-year-old beautiful little girl who spends her free time watching Spongebob Squarepants and coloring. She also loves anything to do with monkeys and she wants to grow up to be a model.

But on Friday, April 5, Allie’s and her family’s life changed. Three weeks prior, Allie had been suffering from a bad cold that just wouldn’t seem to go away and had lost 10 pounds in three weeks. Because of this, she visited the local hospital to have a simple iron test done, but due to a recent incident in her neighborhood, Allie’s mother, Jessica Cunningham, asked that more extensive blood work be done. That is when doctors and nurses discovered that nine-year-old Allie had leukemia. It was something Allie’s family had never expected to hear.

“We thought it was just going to be a viral infection or mono,” said Allie’s grandmother, Kat Cunningham, of Coshocton.

The next morning, Allie was sent to Columbus Children’s Hospital for more blood work and has since undergone three treatments of chemo and other medical procedures.

“She’s the strongest little girl,” said Kat. “She’s just great. She’s tough. She’s going to beat this!”

Allie and her 12-year-old sister, Belle, attend Tri-Valley Schools and are both involved in 4-H. However, because of Allie’s condition, she will not be allowed to participate in 4-H for two years due to her chemo treatments. She also won’t be allowed to attend school for the remainder of this year and most of next. Just to leave her house, Allie will need to wear a mask to avoid infections.

Allie has A.L.L. Leukemia, which, according to cancer.gov, is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow and is the most common type of cancer in children. In Allie’s case, since the cancer was detected early, doctors are very hopeful about her situation.

“She’s got a lot going for her,” said Allie’s grandfather, Jeff Cunningham, of Coshocton, “She’s at the best age to have it. If she were younger, it could cause brain damage. If she were older, her chance of survival would be lower.”

When Allie’s family heard the news, they knew right away that something had to be done and they decided to have a benefit for Allie to raise money for her medical bills and trips to Columbus. That’s when her sister, Belle, came up with the name, Allie’s Rally, and even designed a ribbon that has been printed on tee-shirts to sell at the benefit. There will also be decals and rubber bracelets for sale at the benefit. In keeping with Allie’s love of monkeys, Belle designed the bracelets to say, “Allie is one tough monkey”.

Allie’s Rally will be Saturday, April 27 at The Shack located on Township Road 301. The auction will begin at 4 p.m. with Paul Bratton as the auctioneer, followed by a steak dinner for a donation of $15. Other food will be available for kids.

“I’ve had so many friends help me with this benefit, it’s unbelievable,” said Kat. “I have the best friends in the world. We’ve never had a benefit before and the response we’ve been getting is crazy. We’re really pleased with knowing this is going to be a really nice benefit.”

Local Coshocton County businesses as well as other surrounding businesses have been overwhelming with their support. The Mayor’s Corner pizza in West Bedford has offered to include a flier for Allie’s Rally in each pizza box, and other local businesses have donated items for the auction and have helped to spread the word.

“We really appreciate everyone in Coshocton County, friends and businesses,” said Kat. “Everybody has been unbelievable.”

To help Allie’s family, send your donation to any PNC Bank to the Allie Norman Fund, or contact Jeff and Kat Cunningham at 327-6142.

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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