Her name is Ava Gioe and she is four years old.
Last November, Ava’s parents received the scare of their life, as they watched their child experience a seizure, followed by a major stroke which led to a coma. Ava was immediately air-lifted to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she remained for nearly three long months. Fortunately, Ava was able awake from the coma but not without some bad news. She had a Difuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable brain tumor located in the middle of the brain stem.
Nearly 200 children, commonly aged between 5 and 10 years old, are diagnosed with DIPG a year, with a high fatality rate of 90% within 18 months and 97% within three years (http://www.reflectionsofgrace.org/index.php/diffuse-intrinsic-pontine-glioma-dipg.html).
Ava, however, is determined to survive and has already defied doctors’ odds by walking again and, on Christmas Day, speaking.
But as Ava’s parents do everything they can to provide treatment for their child, with Ava’s mother quitting her job to take care of her, medical bills are adding up.
Marybeth Barrett, daughter of Jim Barrett (owner of Road Scholar Transport) and her husband Mike, who’s son Brayden was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis, a progressive tumor disorder, can relate. Fortunately, they were always able to pay his medical bills. Realizing that not all families are lucky enough to provide for their sick children, she and her husband began to do their own fundraising, including a Christmas raffle which raised over $1300 to provide gifts for those children whose families could not afford to do so because of medical bills.
In doing these fundraisers, Marybeth met the Gioe family, who were holding an Easter Egg Hunt for Ava that her and her husband attended. Inspired by Ava’s story, Marybeth, along with her sister Bridget, decided to hold a benefit for Ava.
When hearing about the fundraiser, many others joined in and volunteered to help in the creation and execution of the benefit, including Road Scholar Transport, who has chosen to create an awareness trailer dedicated to “A Miracle for Ava” as well as a cure for brain tumors.
Road Scholar Transport, a trucking company headquartered in Dunmore, PA, has already invested several thousands of dollars in creating awareness trailers for various organizations/causes including Autism Speaks, The American Breast Cancer Foundation, The American Red Cross, and Flight 93. You can learn more about Road Scholar’s ‘Road to a Cure’ by visiting www.roadscholarawareness.org.
The Miracle for Ava benefit will be held on Sunday, August 14th from 2-5 pm at McMullen’s Restaurant on Market Street in Scranton, PA. Tickets cost $20 per person (children 10 & under are free) which can be purchased at the door or bought in advance by contacting Marybeth at email@example.com or Bridget at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-542-2301.
The benefit will include appetizers, soft drinks, and draft beer. There will also be various basket raffles for your chance to win great prizes.
If you would like to donate an item for the raffle or give a monetary donation, you can do so by contacting Marybeth or Bridget. Companies who donate will be listed as a sponsor of this event and personal donors will be listed as a personal sponsor as well. You can also make a monetary donation to Ava’s family at any PennStar bank under “Friends of Ava Gioe,” or through their website at http://miracleforava.info/. Any contribution will be must appreciated.
Help Ava by purchasing your tickets or making a donation today!