On Nov. 16, 2010, the parents of 2-year-old Saylor Hayes of Georgetown received some of the worst news a parent can hear. Their daughter was diagnosed with leukemia.
Pam Townsend, Saylor’s cousin once removed, is the owner of After School Club of Hearts in Dagsboro, as well as Little Hearts Learning Center in Millville. Each summer, the children and teachers at Club of Hearts hold a fundraising event to benefit someone in the local community through a yard-sale event. This year, all the funds go to help Saylor.
Currently, Townsend said, Saylor is traveling back and forth between home and A.I. DuPont Hospital in Wilmington. Her type of leukemia is called acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society explains on its Web site that ALL is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood that progresses rapidly without treatment.
“She’s got to go through chemo for a couple of years and, after that, it all depends how it goes,” said Townsend.
But, Townsend said, most ALL patients can be cured completely through treatment. Right now, Saylor is doing well, but they’re proceeding with caution.
“You don’t know from day to day,” she said.
The After School Club of Hearts children have been gathering yard-sale items and preparing to sell them on June 30 and July 1, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. Townsend said there will also be a bake sale and a lemonade stand.
“Everyone has a part of it,” she said. “They’ll be out there doing it all.”
Right now, the kids are working on pricing items and have finished making 30 posters to hang up throughout the community, and she said the entire group is excited.
“We’re so blessed to be healthy, and we’re so fortunate, so it’s time to give back,” Townsend said.
Whatever items aren’t sold at the yard sale will be donated to ACTS or Goodwill.
“We’re just asking everyone to come support us,” Townsend said. “It’s something little, but it’s a big deal for the kids.”
And, with luck, Saylor will soon be healthy and be back to doing what Townsend said she loves most: a typical 2-year-old’s activities, like pushing her baby dolls in their stroller and riding her little bike.
Those wishing to learn more about Saylor, follow her treatment or offer support can visit the Web site at www.caringbridge.org/visit/saylorhayes.