The New Hope United Methodist Church in Proctorville is hosting a “Hope-4-Heidi” fundraising event on Sunday, February 24 from noon to 3 p.m. The church is located at 111 Township Road 1130, just north of Proctorville off of County Road 775. During the spaghetti dinner, several local talents will perform including the ThunderTones from 1:15 – 1:45 p.m., 5$Red from 1:45 – 2:15 p.m., River Magic Chorus, Sweet Adelines International, singing from 2:30 – 2:55 p.m. Other local groups and individuals will also perform during the event. The cost of the meal is by donation. The benefit is sponsored by New Hope United Methodist Church, Finley Chapel United Methodist Church, Fairland Southern Baptist Church, Beulah Baptist Church, Chesapeake United Methodist Church and South Point United Methodist Church.
Heidi Adams, the four-year-old daughter of Boyd and Megan Adams, has lived over half of her life battling brain cancer. During the summer of 2017, Heidi’s parents noticed that she was losing her balance and complaining of headaches. Doctors diagnosed the disease in August 2017 after Heidi underwent an MRI. According to medical publications, the cancer, Pineoblastoma, is a very rare, aggressive type of malignant cancer originating in the brain’s pineal gland cells. More common in children than adults, pineal-region lesions account for less than 0.1% of all intracranial tumors.
At the age of two, Heidi began her fight against cancer at Cabell Huntington Hospital with successful surgery that removed most of the tumor. After surgery, Heidi was flown to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and received a series of procedures - including stem cell replacement treatments. Heidi celebrated a period of remission from January 2018 until May 2018. According to Megan Adams, doctors found growth again during a post treatment. “Our world was turned upside down when we heard the tumor had grown again,” said Megan. Heidi re-started the journey in July 2018, and after a few more months of treatments her MRI was clear in December 2018. Doctors then referred Heidi to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center located in New York, New York for additional medical services. Boyd Adams, Heidi’s father recounted the trip, “We had to take Heidi to New York to start liquid radiation treatments. It was hard being so far from home and family for three weeks. She received her first treatments during the stay, but she has to go back for another three weeks to get more.” he said.
Megan’s mother and Heidi’s grandmother, Darla Lyon or MiMi, (currently undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, herself) described Heidi and the impact the disease has had on her. “Heidi is the most intelligent, funniest and sweetest little girl. She has been very courageous during this journey, and it has not slowed her down. Heidi is a true miracle and, we thank God every day for bringing her through this.” said Lyon. Darla further described Heidi as a fighter that never gives up. “She is our feisty, sassy, Heidi Bug!” she added. Heidi’s mother agreed. “Heidi has had her ups and downs…but mostly ups,” said Megan. “She has tolerated her treatments well. Our God is so good and has kept Heidi smiling throughout her treatments. Our faith in God has helped us through this difficult journey.” Megan added.
The family has faced many struggles as a result of the catastrophic disease. Though Heidi continues to fight on, reaching all her developmental milestones, her treatments have made her weaker than other children her age and have affected her hearing. “She has pink and purple hearing aids,” said Megan. “She has lost her hair and her scars from surgery are visible.” she said. The journey has been hard on the family financially. Megan had to quit her job to stay with and care for Heidi as she traveled for treatments. “Mounting large medical bills has really put a strain on us,” said Megan. Heidi’s father, Boyd is the only parent working currently and must use Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) a total of six weeks, which means no pay. “With one income entirely gone it’s really been hard.” he said. When possible during their travels, the family has stayed in the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital, which has helped according to Boyd. “We try to research and find helpful cost-saving resources,” he said.
The Adams family appreciates all the support the community has shown the past two years. “Community support has been amazing,” said Megan. “Businesses have organized fundraisers, friends arranged a 5K event, and a friend helped set up a GoFundMe account that people can help through.” she said. Boyd described how wonderful it has been to see the community behind Heidi in her journey. “Our small community of Proctorville has been overwhelmingly supportive, and you can feel the love they have for Heidi. This fundraiser at New Hope United Methodist Church means so much to our family. It will help pay bills while we are in New York.” he said.
For more information about the Hope-4-Heidi fundraising event call New Hope United Methodist Church at 740-886-5311. Anthony Thomas, Pastor.
Heidi Adams recovers from a medical procedure
Parents of Heidi
Boyd and Megan Adams from Rome Township, OH Lawrence County