Fundraiser held to help pay for 6-year-old girl's cancer treatment

Addy Tomberlin has rare form of leukemia and needs special treament

By Ashley Spicer - Reporter, anchor, Roxy Tyler - Web producer

Addy Tomberlin, 6, suffers from a rare form of leukemia.

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. - A barbeque and silent auction was held Sunday in Nassau County to raise funds for a young girl with cancer who needs specialized treatment. Addy Tomberlin, 6, suffers from a rare form of leukemia, which her family thought she had beaten, but then it came back. 

She and her family are going to Pennsylvania for Addy to receive a special type of treatment for the disease. 

Her mother, Stephanie, said with the first bout of cancer, Addy went through two years of intensive chemotherapy.

"It was very hard on her and we came very close to losing her at one point, and then she recovered and (we) started living our lives again," said Stephanie Tomberlin, Addy’s mother.

Then after thinking the worst was over, the family’s worst nightmare happened again.

"We started seeing symptoms that her cancer was back. We started treatment right away but her body just could not it couldn’t tolerate it. She went into heart failure almost immediately," Stephanie said.

With chemotherapy not working, they're hoping Addy qualifies for T cell therapy in Philly.

Many in the community have stepped up to help "Addy’s Army" in her fight against cancer.

Behind the scenes, Christina Shannon decided to put on a fundraiser for Addy, whom she knows because she and her daughter are classmates. All of the proceeds will support Addy’s journey toward recovery.

"It just kind of, like, broke my heart that this girl has to go through what she has to go through," said Christina Shannon, manager of Bar Zin Bistro and Wine Bar. "I can’t fight the battle for her. So, I figured I would try and help them raise money to cover medical costs and traveling, so they don’t have to worry about work and can just spend time with Addy."

It's easy to imagine the medical bills that have added up along the way for the Tomberlin family and now, with a trip to Philadelphia for a new type of treatment, the costs are bound to soar.

That's why despite this stressful time for the family, they're taking comfort in the support they are getting.

"We just truly feel so blessed because this is a nightmare, and to know so many people care about your child and the well-being of your family, not just friends and family but people you’ve never met, there is nothing more comforting than knowing everyday people are thinking of you, and rooting for you and trying to support you in any way they can," Stephanie Tomberlin said.

To join "Addy’s Army", go to her Facebook page here

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