Fundraising continues for Cassidy Spinner

ALICIA KULIG/PHOTO Cassidy Spinner pauses with a smile in the midst of writing her name on the Northern New York Chapter of Pink Heals firetruck that visited her home last summer before she traveled to Arizona for cancer treatment. More than 50 vehicles from 32 emergency response outfits took part in the sendoff, including members of the Northern New York Chapter of Guardians of the Ribbon. Pink Heals is a nation-wide organization that partners volunteers with public safety officials, local businesses and families to provide home visits "to show individuals that they are loved, cherished and important to others," its website says. Guardians of The Ribbon members, dressed in pink fire suits, drive pink fire trucks across the country every year to spread awareness and supporting all women in their fight against cancer.

MALONE — A four-wheeler is the prize of a raffle that's raising money for Cassidy Spinner and her family.

Roberts Sports Center Manager Wayne Roberts said he got in on the cause to help support the Malone child, who is battling cancer, after he was approached by some customers.

"They know I do stuff like this," Roberts said. "I have a belief: If you live here, give back to it."

His shop has helped raise money in the past for organizations such as Toys for Tots and Hospice.

Roberts asked Can-Am, a division of Bombardier Recreational Products, for a donation and was answered with a red 2018 Outlander 450 four-wheeler.

All proceeds are going to Cassidy's parents, Lori and Jim. 

"They're such a great family, if you know the family," Roberts said. "(Treatment) is costing so much."

 

SURGERY, TREATMENTS

Cassidy has been battling kidney cancer since her diagnosis in 2015.

The Malone child has undergone various traditional and alternative treatments, but the cancer continues to push back. 

Cassidy's right kidney was removed upon her renal cell carcinoma diagnosis, but surrounding lymph nodes had tested positive for the cancer as well. 

"They removed all of what they could, but there was one that they couldn't get out," Lori told the Press-Republican in August.

When the cancer was later found in her lungs, Cassidy began oral chemotherapy, but the symptoms were too much for her to handle.

High blood pressure, hypothyroidism and loss of appetite caused Lori and Jim to halt that treatment. 

"That's when the cancer sort of decided to grow and spread," Lori said. 

 

TRAVEL, MEDICATION COSTS

Over the summer, the then 10-year-old left for six weeks of treatment at Causenta Wellness in Scottsdale, Ariz., with her parents and brother, Aidan.

Before heading out West, she was visited by the Northern New York Chapter of Pink Heals.

Family friend Wendy Seymour had arranged the July visit to put a smile on young Cassidy's face; the organization's unmistakable pink fire truck did that and more. 

It started a chain of fundraising that is still going strong. 

Cassidy is back home in the Malone area and has since transitioned to new treatment that requires the family to travel. 

Seymour said she and others are trying to raise money for travel costs and for medication that is not covered by insurance. 

"And for the ones it does cover, because one knows not all medications are under our co-pay," she said. 

Upstate Correctional Facility — where Jim works — recently raised money with a No-Shave November fundraiser.

A GoFundMe page created on July 11 called "Help Cassidy & Her Family Fight!!" had on Thursday collected $25,690 of its $26,000 goal.

 

TICKET SALES BOOMING 

Roberts Sports Center Secretary and Clerk Kandie Hosler said raffle tickets for the 2018 Outlander 450 four-wheeler will be available until the day of the drawing.

Chances are selling for $5 each or $20 for five and can be purchased at Roberts Sports Center, Ellis Automotive and Superior Glass Sales in Malone and Mullarney's Garden Center in North Bangor. 

Roberts said employees at the local correctional facilities are selling them to their coworkers as well. 

"We have had a great number of people from the community reach out to help the Spinner family," Hosler said. "We started selling (tickets) the first week of October."

By the end of November, she said, approximately 2,000 tickets had been sold, raising about $8,000. 

The raffle drawing will be at Malone's Roberts Sport Center at 689 East Main Street in Malone. 

"We are in hopes that Cassidy will feel well enough to be the one to draw the name of the winner," Hosler said. 

 

Email McKenzie Delisle: 

mdelisle@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @McKenzieDelisle