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Benefit scheduled Saturday for 15-year-old battling cancer
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Fifteen-year-old Keley Roller was enjoying a trip to the beach in Destin, Fla., in July when she received a diagnosis that changed her life.
Doctors told Keley she had chronic myeloid leukemia, an uncommon type of cancer of the blood cells.
“We were sitting on the beach when she started to feel really bad,” said Keley’s mother, Yvonnda. “The next day, she could hardly get out of bed so I took her to the emergency room. That’s when we found out.”
A benefit dinner and auction to raise money for Keley is planned for this Saturday, Nov. 23, at Warren County High School cafeteria beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the door.
Keley’s diagnosis came as she was preparing for her sophomore year at Warren County High School. Now she’s waiting and hoping to find a bone marrow donor in between rounds of chemotherapy at Vanderbilt. This type of cancer can only be cured by a bone marrow transplant.
“We thought we had a match and Dec. 17 was scheduled to be the transplant day,” said Yvonnda. “But we just found out the woman who was going to be the donor won’t be able to do it because she failed the final part of her physical. We don’t know what it was that made her fail because the doctors won’t tell us. You have to be really healthy and you can’t be over 44 to donate.”
Yvonnda says Keley is run through a national database on a daily basis to see if an exact bone marrow match can be found. She said a person has been identified in the United Kingdom, but she doesn’t know if that person will be willing to donate and says extra red tape is involved because that person is outside the country.
Keley is currently at home after being released from Vanderbilt on Saturday. Her mother says she has little energy and spends much of her time sleeping. She said Keley has lost 40 pounds since her diagnosis.
The benefit Saturday is one of many aimed at assisting the family with medical expenses. As a single parent, Yvonnda has been forced to leave her job to be with her daughter.
To donate an item for the auction or to buy advanced tickets, contact Trent Roller 212-4481, Dana Roller 808-0262, or Christie Gilispie 273-5964.