UPDATE: Click here for a list of all participants in Lake Como's yard sale, which concludes today, Octover 4, rain or shine.
LAKE COMO, NJ — Residents who signed up for Lake Como’s yard sale this weekend did not have to pay a $10 permit fee. Borough officials waived the charge and asked participants instead to support fundraising efforts for Jackie Minchala, the 13-year-old borough resident who’s battling advanced cancer.
Now they're looking for the entire community to rally around the effort.
“Her family could really use our help, so please consider participating or donating,” according to a post on Lake Como’s Facebook page about the fall yard sale, to be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, October 4, rain or shine.
The Belmar Elementary School eighth-grader was diagnosed this summer with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of soft-tissue cancer that is most common in children. Since the disease has spread several parts of Jackie’s body and is inoperable, she is currently undergoing 42 weeks of chemotherapy.
To help pay for medical costs not covered by insurance, her family has set up a GoFundMe page, which has brought in more than $75,000 from nearly 1,000 donors, approaching its $100,000 goal.
In recent weeks, the community of Lake Como and Belmar have been supporting Jackie with a variety of fundraisers to benefit the campaign — efforts that were recognized by her sister, Maria Nieto Ramirez, in this GoFundMe update of September 15:
“Three weeks ago, I had received the worst news of my life, and I was at a lost not knowing how to pay for my sister's alternative treatments. Today, my heart is filled with joy seeing how everyone has come together as one to help Jackie. All I can say is THANK YOU!!!!”
While Jackie is responding well to the chemotherapy, Ramirez continued, “It hasn't been easy, but she has shown unimaginable strength. Since we are able to pay for initial costs during the course of September, Jackie will also be starting the other two treatments for which I started this page.”
On September 26, Jackie will be traveling to Spain to have an initial meeting with her doctor, as well as a blood extraction for one of those treatments — immunotherapy, Ramirez said. It works in conjunction with chemotherapy to activate specific immune cells and to help cope with the side effects of intensive chemotherapy, she explained.
The other involves using functional and integrative medicine as complementary treatment, including physical, emotional, detox, nutrition, cellular, neurological and bioenergetic therapies, she said.
“After she is able to start all her treatments, it is down to her and God to fight and win this battle and we know they will!” Ramirez said. “I have no words to express how grateful we are with those who have donated and helped our cause. Thank you again and God bless you all.”
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