ROCHELLE — The Rochelle area community is rallying around Tyler Lent and his family after a diagnosis of a rare form of bone marrow cancer.
A spaghetti dinner fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, March 2 at 11 a.m. at the Rochelle VFW. There will also be a silent auction, 50/50 raffle and a gun raffle.
The seven-year old’s family received the news earlier this month he has Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS); he is currently undergoing weekly blood transfusions. Lent is also facing chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant once a match is found; the family is awaiting bone marrow match testing taken on his sisters.
Lent’s aunt, Jessica Bays is helping to coordinate the fundraiser and silent auction items pouring in.
“From what the doctor said, Tyler’s diagnosis is rare for kids to have,” Bays explained. “It typically targets older adults, 60 to 80-year old people. They told my sister this is a one in a million, extremely rare for kids. He is able to go to school if he feels fine, but he cannot participate in activities such as gym or sports or playing with his siblings. He has to go in for blood transfusions otherwise he gets extremely sick.”
Bays has been distributing flyers for the fundraiser and is still accepting items for the silent auction. Several individuals, businesses and organizations have already donated gift certificates and baskets including Sunshine Bakery, Family Video, Ray’s Furniture, Lifeworks Photography, Steve’s Automotive, ALM Fine Cabinetry, Culver’s, Petro, Expressions Hair Salon, State Farm, Do It Best, Central Bank, Liquor ‘N Wine, Gander Outdoors, State Farm and the Fit Hub. There are also tickets for a Chicago White Sox game and movie passes.
“We are still getting basket donations and will continue to accept those if anyone would like to contribute. The more donations, the better. These will help so much, since the hospital Tyler needs to go to is in Chicago,” Bays said. “My sister is making those weekly trips there and she may be having to make possibly two or three trips each week or stay for treatment till he gets to the point to bring him home.”
For more information on how to donate or purchase 50/50 and gun raffle tickets, please contact Jessica Bays at 815-315-7143.
“The Lent family appreciates all the love and support as they head down a long road to recovery,” as noted on the event flyer. “They look forward to being able to give back and raise awareness for MDS by donating all unneeded proceeds to the MDS foundation.”
A Go Fund Me page has also been established, “Go Red for Tyler — Fight MDS.”