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Barrel race Sept. 24 to help 2-year-old Kasen's fight against brain cancer
“All boy” is how Brittany Rowland describes her 2-year-old son Kasen, whose smile comes when he’s outdoors playing in the dirt.
After Kasen was diagnosed with brain cancer in February, the family’s life became a cycle of hospital visits, tests and bad news.
But an evening of outdoor farm life and an event to raise money for his treatment is less than three weeks away.
Horse trainer Jimbo Albritton will host a barrel race benefit for the Rowland family at 6 p.m. Sept. 24 at Albritton’s farm — Flying A Performance Horses, 3900 Paso Fino Road near Green Cove Springs.
The race is being put on by Dreaming of Three, an organization that uses rodeos and other equine-related events to raise money for children with life-threatening diseases.
The benefit also will include pony rides, face painting, a bounce house, vendors, food, a silent auction and a blood donation bus.
Kasen underwent a 12-hour brain surgery, where doctors were able to remove 75 percent of the tumor. Afterward, he had to begin relearning everything he had mastered, down to how to swallow.
He began chemotherapy in March, but the tumor grew larger.
Doctors predicted only a 50 percent survival rate for Kasen, but he’s undergoing a different kind of chemotherapy and will have another MRI this month to see if the new treatment is working.
Albritton, who is the Florida captain of Dreaming of Three, said all of the money raised at the benefit — including ticket sales and vendor fees — will be donated to the Rowland family.
Anyone interested in entering the barrel race to compete for a prize purse should email [email protected] or call (407) 319-8268. Barrel racing entries are $35.
Admission for spectators is $5 per adult. Businesses are needed to sponsor the event or to be a vendor for a fee of $50.
To donate to Kasen and his family, a check can be mailed to Dreaming of Three, 5700 Corporate Dr., Suite 455, Pittsburgh, PA 15237.
Doctors donate surgery for uninsured patient
The physicians and staff at Jacksonville ENT Surgery donated their time and skills to help a local man get the care he needs.
The patient was referred to Dr. Charles Greene by his primary care physician for treatment of nasal polyps.
The patient did not have health insurance and could not afford to pay out of pocket.
Greene, a We Care Jacksonville board member, referred the patient to the nonprofit that helps low-income, homeless or uninsured adults get medical care.
The doctor performed a nasal endoscopy and CT scan and recommended the patient have sinus surgery.
The operation was performed at Baptist Medical Center, which also is a We Care participant. The cost for the evaluation and surgery typically is more than $21,000.
The patient will follow up with Greene to make sure he is healing properly and is referred to another We Care participating doctor for an oncology consultation.
We Care Jacksonville was founded in 1993 to provide primary and specialty medical care for medically underserved, homeless, or uninsured adults in Duval County.
The organization is a volunteer coalition of medical professionals, clerical personnel and local church groups.
For more information, visit wecarejacksonville.org.
Salvation Army hits road to help hurricane victims
While the worst of Hurricane Hermine skirted the local area, the Salvation Army of Northeast Florida deployed two Jacksonville canteens to Tallahassee and St. Augustine’s canteen to Ocala.
The mobile kitchens could serve 500 meals immediately upon arrival and have the capacity to serve 1,500 meals per day.
There were no requests for assistance in the Northeast Florida area command.
Statewide, the Salvation Army sent 13 canteen units to impacted areas from Cedar Key to Tallahassee.
The organization’s staff also provides emotional and spiritual care and will distribute clean-up kits to residents.
“We ask for your prayers for first responders and for those who have been affected by this storm,” said Maj. Rob Vincent, Northeast Florida area commander.
Donations can be made to support The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts in Florida, Louisiana or West Virginia.
By check, designate “disaster relief” and the geographical area you would like to give to on your check. Mail to the Salvation Army at 328 N. Ocean St., Jacksonville, 32202.
To donate online, go to salvationarmyusa.org. You may also text STORM to 51555.
One hundred percent of disaster relief gifts received by The Salvation Army are directed to those efforts.
The agency’s local services can be supported by going to salvationarmynefl.org and clicking on “donate now.”
Cupcakes for a Cause
The Fresh Market is presenting this month the fourth annual Cupcakes for a Cause campaign.
The event will raise money and awareness for No Kid Hungry, the campaign from Share Our Strength dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America.
September is National Hunger Awareness Month and No Kid Hungry is rallying supporters and partners, including The Fresh Market, to take action for the one in five kids who struggles with hunger.
The grocer will host the Cupcakes for a Cause campaign through Sept. 20.
Customers can buy paper cupcakes at store checkouts for as little as $1, which connects a child to 10 healthy meals through No Kid Hungry’s programs.
All of the paper cupcake donations will benefit the cause.
In addition, the stores will host a cupcake bakery sale Sept. 14-20. Guests may purchase a single gourmet cupcake or a four-pack of cupcakes.
The store will donate $1 from each cupcake purchase and $2 from each four-pack cupcake purchase.
The Fresh Market has committed to contribute at least $150,000 to No Kid Hungry during the campaign.
To date, the company has raised more than $1 million to connect children in need with nutritious food, while teaching their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals.
For more information, visit NoKidHungry.org.