Monday, April 29, 2002

Needed: $30,000 for surgery

Hopes riding on auction

By Randy McNutt,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FAIRFIELD — The family of Meaghann Muncy, the 9-year-old Dillsboro, Ind. girl who needs a radical brain operation, is closing in on their goal of raising $150,000 by late May.

        A group of employees at the Anthem health insurance office in Mason will hold a fund-raiser for Meaghann at 7:30 p.m. May 3 at Receptions Banquet Center, 5975 Boymel Road, at Ohio 4 in Fairfield.

        “We have hit $120,000 but need $30,000 more by the end of May,” said her mother, Sandy Muncy. “We're hoping that this auction will do it for us. We had another one canceled last weekend in Indianapolis, so a lot will be riding on the Fairfield event.”

        A couple of hundred celebrity items will be auctioned, including a tire from race car driver Bill Elliott, various NASCAR pieces, an autographed jersey of football player Peyton Manning and other sports items.

        Admission to the auction is free, but the donation to the fund raiser is $15. Receptions has donated its building for the event, Mrs. Muncy said.

        “We're so grateful,” she said. “We're trying hard to raise the money by late May, when we go to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore for her first consultation. Having the entire amount will give us leverage to get the operation set up soon.”

        Mrs. Muncy expects the operation to be performed by the end of the year.

        “Meaghann is holding her own,” she said. “But she's had a bad week — several major seizures.”

        Through fund raisers, the Muncy family hopes to pay for the operation at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

        Meaghann has a rare congenital brain abnormality called hemimegalencephaly. Only about 10 children a year are born with it in the United States. Her only hope to stop the seizures is an operation to remove the right half of her malformed brain.

        The May 3 benefit will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and feature a silent auction, door prizes, raffles, a band and other activities.

        Donations may also be made directly to Meaghann's Fund, P.O. Box 298, Dillsboro, Ind., 47018. Telephone: (812) 432-3007.


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