A hot dog fundraiser was held Friday to help a local woman with medical bills, the result of treatment for a tumor in her stomach.
The kids of Faith Academy, in Rockingham, got the idea to help their math teacher and co-founder of the academy, Cassie Patrick, with medical bills she received after having surgery.
In March 2012, doctors found a tumor in Patrick’s stomach. Patrick, 24, of Rockingham, does not have health insurance and put off getting the tumor removed.
When she started throwing up blood on Feb. 19, her mom, Lori Patrick, also of Rockingham and co-founder of the academy, convinced her to go to the hospital. They took a biopsy of the tumor and sent it off to be tested.
That is when doctors learned that the tumor was a gastrointestinal stromal tumor, also called a GIST.
According to the American Cancer Society, GISTs are an uncommon form of tumor that forms in the gastrointestinal tract. Not all GISTs are cancerous. A GIST is different from other types of tumors because they begin in different types of cells, need different treatment, and have a different prognosis.
Cassie had surgery on Feb. 25 to remove the tumor, which was sent off for additional testing.
According to Lori, Cassie is still in the hospital at Carolina Medical Center and the doctors hope she can return home on Sunday.
Lori said she didn’t know the kids were going to do the fundraiser. “I’m more proud that those kids are down there working for us — it’s not about the money,” she said.
In two weeks, the test results from the tumor will tell Cassie if she needs to go through chemotherapy.
“I’m just proud of them, so proud of each of them, and thankful, and proud to say they go to Faith Academy,” Cassie said.
Cassie also said that her substitute, Marsha Shaw, has been, “a godsend.” Shaw helped the children put the hot dog fundraiser in motion.
All of the proceeds from the hot dog fundraiser will go to help pay Cassie’s medical bills. Anyone wishing to make an individual donation can do so in person or mail a check to Faith Academy located at 755 U.S. 220, Rockingham NC.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.