Wednesday, Oct. 9, the New College community will come together to host a benefit for Maya McKibbin by providing lunch for a $5 donation. McKibbin, who is the daughter of Physical Plant Maintenance Mechanic Adam McKibbin, is battling Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer.
Diagnosed in July 2013, the twelve year old is currently undergoing a 36-week treatment program which has resulted in her hair loss. Despite these difficulties, she and her family are staying positive. McKibbin’s Facebook page, Maya’s Puffer Cheeks, is bursting with positive aspirations, pictures of she and her friends and family and daily updates on her current health and mood. McKibbin also has a blog, where she posts pictures and writes entries on her progress.
“We are looking to actually bring the community together to raise money for Adam’s daughter’s treatment to help them with the expenses from going back and forth from Tampa,” Anne Smith, certified medical assistant of the Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC), said. “It’s a long treatment for her and obviously it’s very expensive and they have two other children besides Maya so this should be very helpful for them.”
Smith is one of the organizers of the benefit along with Administrative Assistant of the CWC Marguerite Cristiani and Office Assistant for Physical Plant Kathy Levenson.
The organizers approached Mr. McKibbin and asked for permission to create a fundraiser to aid his family in their time of need. The Office of the President has donated money to buy the lunches, which include hot dogs (with a vegan option), chips and a cookie. Ronald Bell, the maintenance coordinator of Physical Plant, donated all the water for the fundraiser.
Individuals can also make separate donations either during the event or at Physical Plant and the CWC. Non-monetary gifts are also accepted, though there is a list on McKibbin’s Facebook page that lists what things she is not allowed to receive while at the hospital.
The organizers hope to sell 250 lunches at $5 each and their ultimate goal is to raise between $2,000 and $3,000.
“We just really want to support the family because they are driving back and forth from Tampa and there’s still life that has to go on,” Cristiani said. “So this can help with gas and taking care of the other kids. I can’t imagine going through such a difficult time, so supporting [Adam McKibbin] and his family in a time of need is really a good thing for the campus to come together [for].”
Cristiani, Levenson and Smith all encourage anyone who would like to reach out to McKibbin to post on her blog or Facebook page
The event will be held on Oct. 9 outside of the CWC from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.