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Community pulling together for 11-month-old Sackville, N.B. girl battling cancer


Fundraising benefit will be held Feb. 27

Eleven-month-old Marlie Curwin is currently at the IWK in Halifax battling Leukemia. The community is rallying to organize a fundraiser to help ease the financial burden being faced by her family.

SACKVILLE, N.B. – The community is rallying together to help out the family of an 11-month-old girl from Sackville who is battling Leukemia and will make her home at the IWK in Halifax for the next four to six months as she undergoes treatments.

An outpouring of community support is already being shown as friends and family have begun to organize a fundraising benefit for next month that will help ease the financial burden for little Marlie Curwin and her mom Erin.

“We have gotten an amazing level of support so far,” said Allison Butcher, Erin and Marlie’s cousin.

Butcher said through the Facebook page that has been created – Curwin Family needs our help – there have already been numerous items donated for the silent auction portion of the benefit and she anticipates it will be “quite an event to be at.”

As well, there are also a number of entertainment acts already booked for throughout the day and a DJ has been confirmed for the dance later that evening.

The fundraising benefit for Marlie has been set for Feb. 27 and will run from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Sackville Legion. The event will feature a silent auction, bake sale, 50/50 draw, music, and much more.

Butcher said the organizing committee is still looking to fill up some of the slots that afternoon with entertainment, and is also hoping people will come through with donations not only for the silent auction but also the bake sale. Volunteers are also needed for the event itself, she said, with people needed to man the door (admission is by donation), dish out chili and soup, sell 50/50 tickets, among other duties.

Marlie has been at the IWK since Jan. 7, after being airlifted there from the Moncton Hosptial after two days of tests.

Butcher said Marlie hadn’t been feeling well for a couple of weeks prior to landing in the hospital, but her fever and irritability were attributed to what the family thought was teething. On Jan. 5, however, her mom decided to take her to outpatients at the Sackville hospital after she noticed one of her legs was dragging and swollen and her fever was still present. She was sent from there to Moncton and then, two days later, to Halifax.

Butcher said Erin was told the day after arriving at the IWK that Marlie had AML Leukemia and would require several rounds of chemotherapy to fight it.

With these treatments expected to take four to six months, Erin is staying at the hospital during that time and Erin’s parents and her sister Kellie have been, and will continue, to travel back and forth to offer their support and comfort when they can.

Butcher said she hopes this benefit will help ease the financial and emotional burden off the family, who simply need to put their focus on Marlie right now. Marlie just completed her first 10-day round of chemo on Friday and will take a break before undergoing the next treatment.

Marlie will spend her first birthday on Feb. 9 in the hospital, not exactly what the family had planned, said Butcher, but they will do what they can to make her day special.

Erin said the outpouring of support for her and her daughter has been “overwhelming.”

“I never thought I'd be in a situation like this. But I am and we are just taking it one day at a time,” she said.

“I know that all the prayers, positive thoughts, and love that is being focused on Marlie right now helps in a big way. Marlie and I need the support of our family right now . . . more than ever.”

Erin said when the idea of fundraising came up, she was at first reluctant. But then she decided she needed to set her pride aside and do what she has to do to make sure her baby girl “has what she needs to win this fight. And she will win this fight.”

A GoFundMe page has also been set up, www.gofundme.com/dzjx8hvw, in an added effort to help take the financial strain off the family.

To make donations for the bake sale portion of the fundraising benefit, contact Heidi Carter at hajcarter@gmail.com or 364-3750.

To make donations for the silent auction, contact Lisa Smith at Lisa.Smith@moneris.com or 961-8978.

For more information, visit the Facebook page, Curwin family needs our help, or the GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/dzjx8hvw. There is also another Facebook page set up, Help for Marlie.

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