CHAMPLAIN — Shawn McCambridge knew something wasn’t quite right when his niece, Amelia Brennock, walked in the door last November.
The child was normally eager to greet his golden retriever, Rudy, when she came to visit relatives at the home in Ellenburg.
“She didn’t run and see the dog the very first day she came,” McCambridge said.
An annual checkup three weeks earlier had given Amelia a clean bill of health.
But then, in Ellenburg, “she just woke up with a fever, and then it just never went away over the weekend, and we thought she was getting dehydrated so we brought her over to CVPH (Medical Center),” said mother Jennifer Brennock.”
At the Plattsburgh hospital, the family learned Amelia’s condition was more severe than they had thought. But with no pediatric oncologist available, the staff was unable to fully diagnose it.
Amelia was transferred by ambulance to the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Westchester County, where the 9-year-old is still being treated today.
Amelia, who lives in Carmel, located in Putnam County, took a brief break from treatment over the weekend. She was guest of honor at the “A Day for Amelia” fundraiser held Saturday afternoon at Twin Bridges Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1418 in Champlain.
At least 200 guests gathered to welcome her as she returned to the area almost a year after her diagnosis.
The event featured a chicken dinner, music and a raffle with numerous items and gift certificates donated by local residents and businesses.
Both the Ridgerunners and Adirondack Riders motorcycle clubs donated hundreds of dollars, while student members of the Northern Adirondack Central School FFA helped with food service at the event.
“I think it was nice,” Amelia said about the gathering.
By late afternoon, donations for her and family totaled about $4,100.