What started as an email chain and donation page for Glenn Lightner, a 13-year-old Long Valley resident with brain cancer, has blossomed into a full community effort to help a local family beat the odds.
Lightner, who was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma grade III brain cancer in December 2007, has undergone five surgeries–most recently in early March–chemotherapy treatment, and radiation.
But the cancer persists.
Lightner and his parents, , March 24 to explore alternative medicine–and hopefully a cure–after years of coming up empty in the United States.
During the process, however, . Costs for travel and treatment overseas is estimated at more than $100,000–none of which will be covered by insurance.
But now, members of the Long Valley community are jumping into the fight, and doing whatever it takes to help the Lightners win.
On Saturday, April 28, a dinner event will be held, called Rally in the Valley for Glenn Lightner, with all net proceeds benefitting the Lightner family and their quest to cure their son’s brain cancer.
The event will be held at on West Mill Road, and tickets will only be sold in advance. Cost is $50 per person, which will include dinner, beer, wine, soda, and entertainment from Karaoke by Leanne (music will played, not Karaoke).
Local businesses ranging from Restaurant Village to and Pub, Taylor’s Ice Cream, Maria’s Café, and Mama’s Café in Hackettstown have all committed to donating food for the event, according to Rally in the Valley committee member Dorene Rettas.
“The outpouring of support from the community has been amazing,” Rettas said. “It makes you proud of where you live.”
The event can accommodate 250 people, and tickets are being sold on a first come, first served basis prior to the event date.
Tickets are tax deductible, and they can be purchased through Rettas at 973-713-1097, or Mary Ann MacIntyre at 908-850-8576. Co-sponsoring the event is non-profit Smile Forever Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.
Smile Forever, which can be found at www.smile-forever.org, was founded by Long Valley's Steve and Michele Triant and helps families fanancially who are battling cancer. Donations to the foundation can be made directly through the website.
Opportunities for businesses to donate or support the event are still available. A silent auction tricky tray will also take place during the event, and various local sports organizations and businesses have donated baskets and apparel to be auctioned off.
For more information about the event, or how you can help, contact Dorene Rettas at 973-713-1097.