Music for Cancer Benefit at Black Walnut’s American Legion
By Kelly Cole
One of the most devastating diagnoses to receive is that you or a loved one has cancer. It would be unbearable news and one would think more so when hearing a child has been diagnosed with one of many cancers.
Samantha Traver has recently had to endure the heart-wrenching news that her four-year-old son, Dakotah, has a cancerous tumor on his right kidney. Traver had noticed that her son’s stomach had this protrusion that didn’t seem right.
They went through a series of doctor appointments to see what could have been causing this. Finally, in August, an appointment at the Children’s Hospital in Danville delivered results. Dakotah had a Wilms’ Tumor, also known as nephroblastoma. This is the most common childhood kidney cancer and is generally discovered when a child is around the age of three or four.
At this time, Dakotah is receiving chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, so that his doctors can perform surgery to remove it. After surgery, Dakotah will begin radiation, and he has a 95 percent chance of being cured.
Wilms’ accounts for six to seven percent of child cancer cases and is rare in adults. The average age of a patient who has been diagnosed with Wilms’ is between two and three and occurs in about eight in one million children under the age of 14.
Amanda Carney, daughter of Bob and Tami Carney of Meshoppen, enters the picture as an Elk Lake senior who was working on her senior project, Music for Cancer. She had planned her project to be an event where there would be music, dancing, basket raffles and a 50/50 to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
Her career goal of becoming a musical therapist was a huge factor in how she chose her project.
Musical therapy combines two fields that Carney is interested in studying when she goes to college, music and psychology. This particular therapy has been proven to help with stress, alleviate anxiety, enhance ones memory, improve communication, help one express themselves and promote physical rehabilitation.
When Carney isn’t playing the flute, trumpet, clarinet or piano, she is busy with Elk Lake’s Varsity swim team, Key Club, Student Council and Prom Steering Club.
Her older sister, Stephanie, told her about Traver and her son Dakotah. Carney decided at that time she would like a local benefactor to receive the proceeds from her senior project. This would help Traver with the medical bills and other costs she would incur during Dakotah’s treatment.
The Music for Cancer Benefit is being held this Saturday, Sept. 24 at the American Legion banquet hall in Black Walnut. Music starts at 1:30 and will continue until 10 p.m. All ages are welcome and the admission is $7, with children 10 and under being free.
There will be music for everyone. Starting the benefit is Stone Driven who plays classic rock and country, and they will be followed with country music by Borderline. A group of Elk Lake students will be playing rock covers, and the evening is rounded out with DJ Dave Welles and DJ Keystone Jukebox playing requests. In between sets, Dollar Store Speed Army will keep the crowd entertained with alternative rock covers.
Donations and items for the raffle baskets have been provided by RJ’s, The Fireplace Restaurant, Cindy Rogers, Golden Living Center in Tunkhannock, Penns Best in Meshoppen, Chip Lines-Burgess, Shree Baker, Joe Delesky, Tunkhannock Auto Mart and many more are expected to donate.
Carney has designed t-shirts for the benefit and will be selling them for $7. She has already been able to raise $500 from the Coins for Cancer drive she held at the Elk Lake Elementary School at the end of last school year as a part of her senior project. That amount, plus whatever Carney is able to raise at Saturday’s benefit, will be given to Traver.
Supporters are encouraged to stop by Black Walnut’s American Legion between 1:30 and 10 p.m. this Saturday. There is still time to make a monetary donation or donate something for the raffle baskets. Readers may call Carney at 570-240-2581 or her sister, Stephanie, at 570-240-0700 for further information.