Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Local benefit for toddler battling brain cancer

Liam Wrice
Hundreds of residents gathered today at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 23 in Carbonear for a benefit in support of the Wrice family, Jerry and Natasha, whose thirteen-month-old son Liam was diagnosed this past November with a rare form of brain cancer-Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumour.

Jerry Wrice and Phyllis Ferguson in their #LIAMSTRONG hoodies
"We are extremely grateful for the community support.  It is overwhelming.  There are not enough words to truly express our sincere appreciation for the support given to our family and baby boy during this difficult journey,” said Jerry.

The Wrice’s, who currently live in Fort McMurray, but still have many family and friends home in Newfoundland and Labrador. Jerry was able to fly to Newfoundland to participate in both this benefit and one held at the Stone Jug on Friday, Feb. 5, while Natasha remained in Fort McMurray, where she also attended a benefit for Liam.

The benefit, one of many which have been organized across Canada in support of the toddler, was conceived by Scott Cooper and Ben Lewis, who approached Tammy Wrice, Liam’s aunt, with the idea.

“It’s hard knowing what the family is going through and we just wanted to help somehow,” said Cooper, who is also a distant relative of the toddler. “We wanted to do something for Liam and his family- my family. We decided a music benefit would be great.”

“It’s not about us. It’s about Liam,” said Tammy. “It’s about letting the community come into your life and letting them help and be involved.”

And the community certainly helped, as the group received dozens of donations from local businesses. Prize
Large crowds gather to support Liam Wrice
draws, snacks, fresh soup and sandwiches, and music provided by local performers such as Irish Coffee, Scott Cooper and his son Matthew, the Barley Boys, and more, made for an enjoyable evening for all in attendance. For sale at the event were t-shirts, hoodies, and wrist bands featuring the hashtag #LIAMSTRONG, which has been trending across social media sites ever since word broke of Liam’s battle.

Perhaps the most telling moment of the night was when Vanessa Patricia, winner of a 50/50 draw, donated her winnings of $1,800 towards the cause.

By the end of the night, a total of $13,000 had been raised for Liam.

In the face of all adversity, the family chooses to remain optimistic about the future.

“We need to help bring about awareness and let Liam lead the helm in what the new future holds for us,” said Tammy.

For more information on the Wrice's and their journey, you can visit their website.
The Barley Boys, one of several local performers

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