Dinner and dancing for Addalynne

‘Dance for Addalynne’ to support local girl battling illness

February 4, 2013
Addalynne “Addy” Morrison.

It has already been a long road for 4-year-old Addalynne “Addy” Morrison since her October diagnosis of stage 5 bilateral Wilms Tumors on her kidneys.

Recognizing the need to support her family as Addy undergoes treatment in Pittsburgh, the local community has organized several fundraisers. The latest will feature an up-and-coming Nashville recording artist, who fell in love with Greene County while serving as a judge during its annual Rain Day celebration.

“I was honored and privileged to have been asked to participate in this benefit for Addalynne,” said singer Craig Wayne Boyd. “The people of this area have been good to me and so supportive of my career.”

From 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 13, Boyd will sing at “Dance for Addalynne,” a buffet dinner-dance event at Buddy’s, Inc., 555 W. High St., Waynesburg. Cost is $10 per person. Boyd will perform his singles, “Learning to Dance,” and “I Ain’t No Quitter,” along with other tracks from his debut album. Those who attend the event will be given an opportunity to sign Valentines that will be hand-delivered to Addy at Children’s Hospital.

Boyd added, “I am proud to have the opportunity to give back to the community and to someone like Addalynne, who is proving daily that she ‘Ain’t No Quitter’.”

Addy was diagnosed after her mother, Brittany Anderson Morrison, found a lump while putting lotion on Addy’s stomach. She took Addy to see her pediatrician the next day, and an X-ray revealed a mass. A follow-up CT scan and blood work Oct. 19 at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh-UPMC confirmed their worst fears – Addy had a softball-sized tumor on her left kidney. The scan also showed multiple smaller tumors on the right kidneys and a small spot on her lung. In less than a week, Addy was undergoing chemotherapy to shrink the tumors and prepare her for surgery.

The treatment went better than anticipated by Addy’s doctors, according to her mother. The tumors decreased in size quickly, preparing Addy for surgery Jan. 16 at Children’s Hospital. When it was completed, the family received some very good news. The doctors were able to save 80 percent of both kidneys. They originally thought they would have to take the entire left kidney and part of the right.

Nine days later, Addy’s pathology report showed anaplasia, a character of malignancy, in one of the small tumors on Addy’s right kidney. Addy would have to undergo a more aggressive type of chemotherapy and additional radiation treatments. Under the circumstance, doctors determined radiation on Addy’s lungs also would be in order.

Fortunately, all 25 lymph nodes removed were negative for cancer and there was no indication of cancer in the surrounding tissue. However, because of the rarity of the combination of Addy’s type of cancer, stage and pathology, selecting a course of treatment was difficult. With that in mind, the oncologists at Children’s Hospital consulted with doctors from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., to “fine tune Addy’s treatment,” according to her mother.

The outcome is a course of inpatient chemotherapy and radiation that will last from 18 to 24 weeks with opportunities between treatments for Addy to go home.

For more information about “Dance for Addalynne “or to become a sponsor of the event, contact hotmesspromotion@gmail.com or phone Laura at 724-833-7048.

Tara Kinsell started her career in journalism with the National Geographic Insider Magazine and the Gaithersburg Gazette Newspaper in Montgomery County, Md. Tara has written and photographed sports, features and news stories for the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and Albert Gallatin Weekly. She holds degrees in journalism and graphic design from Waynesburg College, now Waynesburg University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, respectively.

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