A barbecue and stew benefit for 19-year-old Caroline Laughorn will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at American Legion Post 8 located at 1710 Jeffress Blvd. in South Boston. All proceeds will go to assist with Laughorn’s expenses as she fights her third battle with cancer.
Donations also will be accepted.
The barbecue is being donated and cooked by Matthews Sanitation Services. Barbecue plates will be sold for $10 and include barbecue, baked beans, coleslaw, roll, dessert and a beverage.
The stew is being cooked by Spainhour and will be available for $7 per quart.
Music will be provided by Bluegrass Five, and We’ve Got Rhythm Dance Team will perform.
Also available at the benefit event will be bouncy houses provided by Exquisite Events/South Boston Church of God to entertain the youngsters, and silent auction items to be auctioned off such as a saddle start-up kit, two UNC basketball game tickets, a quilt, two nights stay at Sunnyview 1894, a raffle and LulaRoe by Erin Shaughnessy.
Laughorn’s cancer is back for the third time, and the 2019 Halifax County High School graduate and her family are having to deal with the pain and dread of a disease that has now come out of remission twice.
But those in the community who are hosting this benefit and making donations for the silent auction and raffle to be possible are rallying behind the Laughorn family letting them know they are not alone in their ordeal.
Laughorn was preparing to go off to college at James Madison University just before she received her cruel diagnosis and started chemotherapy and CAR T treatment.
CAR T cell therapy has proven very effective at treating acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in both children and adults. This type of blood cancer is usually treated successfully with chemotherapy, but in some cases conventional approaches do not work. That’s when CAR T cell therapy can be a patient’s best option.
After receiving her CAR T cells earlier this month, Laughorn recently was admitted to Duke Hospital in Durham from complications with her central line, CRS, or both, her mother, Jennifer Laughorn, explained in a Facebook post.
Doctors are treating her daughter’s infection with IV antibiotics.
“The bad news is that to treat the infections, she will have to stay inpatient through the next 10-14 days, so she can continue to get IV antibiotics every eight hours,” Jennifer said of her daughter’s current condition.
For the Laughorn family, Oct. 10 has been an eventful day over the past four years.
Four years ago on Oct. 10, 2015, Laughorn relapsed with leukemia, making it the second time she was diagnosed with cancer.
Exactly two years later, on Oct. 10, 2017, she finished treatment for the second time, and she rang the bell signifying she was cancer free.
“That was a much happier day than in 2015 or now in 2019,” Jennifer said. “She was surrounded by family and friends in what we were hoping would be the end of cancer for her. It just wasn’t meant to be.”
In July, just before Laughorn was to start college and move into her JMU dorm, she was diagnosed with leukemia for the third time.
Her goal now is to get to JMU by January.
“So we have to believe that this CAR T therapy will be Caroline’s cure. And we have to believe that she won’t need to do it again, that it will work the first time,” her mother said. “God is the reason Caroline is still here with us. He has given her a third chance at life, because I believe she is here on this earth to make a difference. Can you imagine what kind of blessing she will be to kids like her and families like ours when she gets to take care of them by being a physician assistant? God has a plan.”
The Laughorns said they are appreciative of everything the community has done for Caroline as she continues to battle cancer for the third time in her life.
“God puts people in our lives for a reason. There are no mistakes. So thank you all for stepping up, praying nonstop, and supporting us in more ways that I can mention,” Jennifer concluded in her post.