Event in Marietta to support 12-year-old girl battling tumor
by Rebecca Johnston
rjohnston@mdjonline.com
July 01, 2012 12:45 AM | 2746 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In February, AdriAnna Allen had surgery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to remove a brain tumor, but it has grown back and another surgery is set for July 16.<br>Photo special to the MDJ
In February, AdriAnna Allen had surgery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to remove a brain tumor, but it has grown back and another surgery is set for July 16.
Photo special to the MDJ
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BALL GROUND — Like any 12-year-old, AdriAnna Allen was looking forward to getting back to school this fall when she was set to enter Teasley Middle School as a seventh-grader.

But first she has to undergo surgery to remove a re-occurring brain tumor, and have a special type of radiation to make sure this time the cancer is banished.

First diagnosed with a grade-two atypical meningioma that was precancerous in 2011, the Clayton Elementary student had surgery in February and doctors believed 100 percent of the tumor was removed.

But now the young girl’s mom, Christy Allen, says her daughter’s tumor has returned and another surgery is scheduled, this time at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla.

“We were hoping it would not come back, but it has, and doctors believe that the best outlook is to remove the tumor and follow with the radiation,” Allen said.

In the meantime, her daughter remains upbeat, although she is disappointed she will miss as much as two months of school before being well enough to return to class.

“She never complains. She is just amazing, she does what she has to do and gets it done,” Allen said. “AdriAnna was hoping to get this done over the summer, but now she is going to miss the first of school. Both schools have been extremely supportive.”

The community is also showing its support, with a fundraiser planned to help offset medical costs and other expenses the family is facing.

The Eat Wings, Raise Funds event is being conducted by Buffalo Wild Wings on Barrett Parkway in Marietta. Allen works as a server at the eatery and says her co-workers have been very supportive

Right now she is on a leave of absence to see her daughter through the upcoming surgery.

Divorced for the last seven years, she is the primary parent for her daughter, although she says her former husband is pitching in to help.

The fundraiser is set for July 8 starting at 11 a.m. and will continue past midnight to end at 1 a.m. on July 9. A percentage of every check including wings, appetizers, and desserts will go toward the fund for AdriAnna.

“Christy Allen is a sweet hardworking woman who loves her daughter more than anything,” said the Facebook page promoting the event.

The family will have to stay in Jacksonville during the surgery and then AdriAnna will need to stay near the hospital for several days after being dismissed.

After she returns home, she will travel back to the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville for her radiation treatment.

Allen always describes her daughter as a trooper, a description that AdriAnna likes. Even though she doesn’t get to spend as much time with her friends as she would like, AdriAnna remains positive.

The ordeal began in early 2011 when the youngster began to complain of headaches. After several months of visits to the doctors, an MRI in January revealed that the tumor covered half her brain.

“The type of tumor that she has is unusual for a child, and doctors really don’t have much information about treating someone so young with this,” Allen said.

AdriAnna’s first surgery took place at Scottish Rite-Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, but when the growth reoccurred, doctors sent her to Emory Hospital in Atlanta, where she was then referred to Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

The reoccurrence of the tumor was discovered during a routine follow-up to the first surgery, Allen said.

Now, the family is ready for the next round in the battle for AdriAnna to be cured.

“We hope this time is the last,” her mom said.

IF YOU GO

* WHAT:  Eat Wings, Raise Funds fundraiser for AdriAnna Allen

* WHEN:  Starts at 11 a.m. July 8 and concludes at 1 a.m. July 9. * WHERE:  Buffalo Wild Wings, 125 Ernest W. Barrett Parkway, Marietta

* INFO: A percentage of every check including wings, appetizers, and desserts will go toward the fund for AdriAnna.
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