By Kathy Orr
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — While raising money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand in early June, CBS 3 chief meteorologist Kathy Orr had a chance meeting with a little girl. Her elementary school friend, Jillian, has cancer. When friends and family pulled together a special night for Jillian, we were there.
They built a beach inside the gym of Willow Lane Elementary School in Macungie, Lehigh County. There were umbrellas and palm trees, sunglasses and leis, and kids throwing lots of beach balls.
Those children included 8-year-old Jillian Sayre, who is fighting a brain tumor, medulloblastoma.
“It’s been a complete roller coaster. We’ve had so many ups and downs,” said Jodi Sayre, Jillian’s mother.
Kathy met Jillian’s friend Maddie on the boardwalk in Ocean City when CBS 3 was raising money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand in early June.
Jillian was diagnosed with cancer a year ago. Her friends have stuck by her side ever since.
But there are some things Jillian can’t do. “Since she’s still undergoing treatment, the beach isn’t always an option, so we decided to have a beach party here at school,” said Maureen Brophy, Maddie’s mom.
The whole community was invited to Jillian’s “beach” dance party. Friends and family, who call themselves Team Jillian, sold raffle tickets for dozens of prizes and collected donations for the Sayre family’s medical costs.
Best of all, Jillian got to be a regular kid with her friends.
“Tonight we’re trying to have fun and trying to enjoy and let Jillian be the kid she wants to be,” her mother said.
The beach dance party raised more than $2,000 for Jillian and raised her spirits too.
People interested in contacting the Sayre family can email firstname.lastname@example.org