West End Rallies Around Ill Boy
A diagnosis of inoperable brain cancer from out of the blue is devastating. But when the patient is an 10-year-old boy, the pain is unfathomable.
The West End community is struggling with that very thing these days as members rally to support 10-year-old Blaise McNair and his family.
Blaise, a student at West End Elementary School, was recently diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. Friends and family are now rallying to to raise funds for Blaise’s medical treatments and to pay bills and other expenses for his mother, Linda.
Blaise’s illness came without any prior warnings or symptoms, said Linda’s sister Rebecca Mabe, adding that the family “is doing the best we can” in light of the sudden developments.
“Blaise was perfectly fine, and then two weeks ago while he was out playing basketball he started to have some problems,” Mabe said. “He suddenly lost motor coordination in his right side and began slurring his speech.
“My sister closed her business, The Nail Boutique in West End, on the day that he was diagnosed in order to take care of him. We now have several events planned to raise money to cover traveling expenses for trips back and forth to Duke, for food, for bills, whatever is needed to help them as much as possible.”
The first event will be a benefit yard sale on Saturday, followed by a candlelight prayer vigil Sunday at 9 p.m. at the flagpole on the West End Elementary School campus. A charity motorcycle ride with a lunch benefit are also scheduled for June 30.
Titled “Blaise Spirit Blaze,” Saturday’s yard sale will begin at 7 a.m. between Pinehurst and Carthage at the Classy Paci Consignment Boutique on U.S. 15-501, located beside the Harley- Davidson dealership. Owner Allison Crissman said that many attractions will be offered at the fundraising event.
“Outside of the store we will have a yard sale featuring lots of clothes for kids and adults, along with shoes, toys, books and more,” said Crissman. “A bounce house for children will be featured from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Panera has donated bagels and cream cheese, and Rita’s Ice will be donating items as well.”
Crissman said specials will be offered inside the business to assist the family.
“Inside the store we will be running special deals and sales with a percentage of all proceeds going to the McNair family. We’re hoping that this benefit will be a big help to the McNairs in their time of need.”
Asked why she is assisting the family, whom she has never met, Crissman said it was what she “was called to do.”
“We all have families, and if we found ourselves in this situation we would need assistance from others,” she said. “When I learned about Blaise’s situation, I thought I could do something to help. I feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Those attending Sunday’s candlelight vigil in West End are asked to wear Carolina blue in honor of Blaise.
The Blaise McNair Charity Ride and Lunch Benefit, scheduled for next week, will begin at the Carthage Fire Department on U.S. 15-501. Registration takes place at 8 a.m. with the ride beginning at 10 a.m. Costs will be $15 for a single rider or $20 for a double rider. A 12:30 p.m. lunch is included and a silent auction will be held.
“Donations may be made at any of these events and we encourage you to do so,” Mabe said. “One hundred percent of the yard sale proceeds will go toward benefitting the McNair family, and a percentage of sales at the Classy Paci will be donated as well.”
Mabe described Blaise as “a lively, athletic, sweet boy whose smile lights up a room.”
“His dream is to become a pro golfer,” she said. “Blaise is a positive influence on those around him and has always been one to be kind and help others.”
Contact Crissman at (910) 295-9100 for more information or to donate items to the yard sale.
Donations may also be made to the Blaise McNair Family Fund at First Bank, or to Tony or Linda McNair at their account with the State Employees’ Credit Union. Send donations in their name to SECU, P.O. Box 599, Southern Pines, NC 28388.
For additional information, visit the Facebook pages “Praying for Blaise McNair” or the Classy Paci Consignment Boutique.
Contact John Lentz at (910) 693-2479 or email@example.com.
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