Spaghetti dinner next week to benefit young Niles leukemia victim
By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Tender Heart Daycare will be putting on a benefit dinner at the Golden Nugget on Saturday, Jan. 24 for one of their children, Andrew Eastwood, who has been diagnosed with acute leukemia.
Andrew, son of DeLaina and James Hattenbach, is five years old and currently attends the Northside Early Learners Program.
Daycare assistant Cydni Kiggins came up with the idea to help Andrew's family in November, and she and Flynn have been planning ever since.
The all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner will cost $7 per person and it will take place upstairs at the Golden Nugget from 5 to 8 p.m. There will also be an unlimited supply of garlic bread, salad and beverages.
The dinner will be prepared by the small daycare staff and some other friends of the family.
All of the proceeds from the dinner will go to Andrew's family to help them pay for medical expenses.
Andrew has been going to Tender Heart for three years now and it is easy to see that he has a place in the hearts of the daycare staff.
Flynn said Andrew started getting frequent fevers two years ago and his parents took him to the doctor to see what was wrong.
After a blood test revealed he had a very low count of white blood cells, Andrew had to be taken from daycare to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis for tests.
On Jan. 23, 2002, Andrew was diagnosed with acute leukemia.
Flynn, Kiggins and another daycare assistant immediately went down to Indianapolis to visit him.
Andrew must now go to the South Bend Memorial Clinic once a month for chemotherapy treatments. He also has to go to Riley Hospital every six weeks for a more extensive check-up and therapy.
Flynn said his chemotherapy is scheduled to go until sometime in 2005 and doctors have given him an 80 percent chance of survival.
Last year, Andrew's parents had approximately $47,000 worth of medical bills and that is not including the money they lost from taking time off of work.
The evening will also feature a raffle, in which Kiggins has created 1,200 tickets that will sell for $1 each.
Kiggins said if all of the tickets are sold, $500 of the proceeds will be split up among three raffle winners and the other $700 will go to Andrew's family.
All members of the public are encouraged to attend. For more information call Joni Flynn or Cydni Kiggins at 683-9299.
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