A young Sylvan Lake resident diagnosed last year with a form of bone cancer has the full support of the community as she continues her treatment in the United States.
That support was evident when more than $40,000 was raised at a benefit auction and concert for Mikeala Davidson, 18, at Gospel Chapel Sunday night.
“It was awesome,” said Mikeala’s father, Gary Davidson. “The support is amazing.”
At press time, the total amount raised was still being calculated, but Davidson estimated it to be around $42,000, with more donations still to come.
The money was raised through live and silent auctions, and ticket sales for a concert by The Boom Chucka Boys later in the evening.
“There’s so many groups, companies and individuals in Sylvan Lake that were there bidding on stuff and had donated,” said Davidson. “It was just unbelievable.”
In June 2012, Mikeala was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma, a bone cancer found almost exclusively in growing children.
Following surgery on her affected leg, and months of chemotherapy, three tumours were removed after spots on her lungs were discovered.
Gary Davidson said there is nothing more doctors in Canada can do for his daughter, with the exception of surgically removing tumours, if any show up.
Her treatment is now continuing in Arizona, where she will go every three months for the first year. She is due back in late November.
Davidson said any funds not used in Mikeala’s treatment will be given to another family in a similar situation.
Sunday’s event ended up being much larger than he and his family had initially anticipated.
It was organized after The Boom Chucka Boys lead singer, and Davidson family friend, Ryan Langlois, approached the Davidson family with the idea of his band performing a benefit concert.
What began as a “little benefit concert”, expected to be attended by a group of family and friends, quickly became a community event, with plenty of people offering their support.
“When people heard about it, just over the last two months or so, they have just kept donating and donating,” said Davidson.
More than 80 items were received for the fundraiser’s silent auction.
“We thought if we get 20, that would be great, and in the end, there was 82, with people still bringing stuff while we were doing it.”
He said he, Mikeala, and his wife Pam put a “fair amount of time” into organizing the event, but received plenty of support from neighbours, friends, family and members of Gospel Chapel.
Auction items often simply showed up at the family’s door, he added.
Donations are still being accepted, and may be made at the Taylor Plaza Servus Credit Union in Red Deer, where an account is set up under Mikeala Davidson’s name.
Further information is available by contacting Pam Davidson at 403-352-2972.