UNION COUNTY — A chicken stew held this past Saturday raised more than $1,100 for the family of a young girl battling brain cancer.
Ruthie Dean is the daughter of Jeff and Courtney Dean and an 8th grade student at Sims Middle School. In September, she began suffering from a headache that lasted for four days and then, while at school, she vomited. Since she suffers from blood disorders, Ruthie’s family rushed her to the emergency room so she could receive fluids. The physician on duty ordered a CT scan which revealed a tumor the size of a golf ball in the upper left quadrant of Ruthie’s brain. The tumor and the pressure it was putting on her brain is what had caused Ruthie’s headaches and vomiting.
After the tumor was detected, Ruthie then underwent an MRI, the results of which lead her doctors to decide that the tumor had to be removed surgically. The procedure, which took four hours to complete, was performed on Sept. 22 and resulted in the successful removal of the tumor. Ruthie was subsequently able to return to school.
Unfortunately, the pathology of the tumor revealed that Ruthie has Grade 4 Glioblastoma, a particularly aggressive form of cancer that begins in the brain. The diagnosis meant that Ruthie would have to undergo additional surgery as well chemotherapy and radiation treatment to fight the disease. Ruthie’s second surgery is scheduled to take place today.
The news of Ruthie’s condition has resulted in an outpouring of support for the Dean family with several fundraisers having been organized and held to raise funds to help them with her medical expenses. The most recent of these was a “Drive-Thru Chicken Stew for Ru” held this past Saturday at Foster Park by the Union Civitan Club and the Union County High School Junior Civitan Club. The event featured chicken stew cooked by Tommy Sinclair.
Sinclair said Saturday that the event had been more successful than the Civitans hoped for with more than 250 quarts sold. As of Tuesday, the Civitans and the Junior Civitans were reporting that somewhere between $1,100 and $1,200 had been raised by the chicken stew for Ruthie and her family.
Another fundraiser for Ruthie and her family is being held at the Union County Agricultural Fair at the Union County Fairgrounds.
Chelsea’s Shaved Ice & Concessions will be having “Ruthie Day” on Thursday and Friday at its stand. A percentage of the sales will be donated to Ruthie and her family to help offset her medical expenses.
A flier advertising the event also asks the public to “continue to lift Ms. Ruthie and her family in your prayers.”
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.