WILDER, Ky. (FOX19) - The community of Wilder, Kentucky is rallying around a 7-year-old girl who is battling an aggressive brain tumor.
Aiyana Wallace’s family told FOX19 NOW they first noticed a change in how she was walking. Her lazy eye also got worse, so they took her to the doctor.
“I never expected in my life to go in for a simple eye appointment and come out facing what we’re facing right now,” her Dad, Justin Wallace, said. He says the eye doctor sent them to a specialist who ordered an MRI. It showed, “Fast-growing rapid tumor that has wrapped itself around her brain-stem,” Wallace said.
Following brain surgery, doctors told Wallace the tumor is a glioblastoma. The American Brain Tumor Association website says it is a rare brain tumor for children.
Wallace says doctors gave Aiyana 10-12 months. With radiation and chemotherapy, “It’s about a five percent chance to beat it. We’re going to take that five percent and run with it,” Wallace said.
Aiyana’s family says she has a sassy personality that lights up a room, “Full of energy, full of excitement, always wants to be on the go. She’s the complete boss of her own life,” Wallace said.
Frank Bardonaro is Wallace’s boss at Maxim Crane. He says the company jumped at the opportunity to start putting together a fundraising event for the family, “It didn’t take 10 seconds to make a decision. We try to help not just our employees and their families, but we don’t want to see little kids getting sick,” Bardonaro said.
Tina Lewis is an Office Administrator for RHI Transportation. She says as soon as the company learned of Aiyana’s story they started setting up a fundraising event as well because that’s what the community of Wilder, Kentucky doe. “Been here my whole life and everybody looks out after each other and helps,” Lewis said.
The financial help from the community is a weight off the Wallace family. Now they can just, “Focus on her. We can make sure that if the worst were to happen that we use this time to take her and do what we haven’t ever done before,” Wallace said. He says that includes daddy-daughter dances and going on a trip to Disney World.
While they check off items on a dream list, the family says they’re going to remain positive, “We’re fighting, we’re going to keep fighting,” Wallace said.
For a specific time and location for the first fundraising event, you can check out the Aiyana Strong Facebook page. The 2nd fundraising event will be on January 18th. A location and time are still being finalized.