Friday, September 30, 2011

Lifetime Adoption Foundation Hosting Taste of Italy Pasta Benefit for Mikayla

Enjoy A Great Italian fundraiser Supporting Nevada Union Student Mikayla Tokos, 16 and her battle with Graves disease

Lifetime Adoption Foundation is hosting a Taste of Italy Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction to raise funds for Mikayla Tokos, 16, who has been diagnosed with Graves disease and will undergo radiation treatment. Becky Tokos, single mother of three daughters and 18-year resident of Penn Valley, recently learned her youngest daughter, Mikayla  had this disease rare to children.

Lifetime Foundation's Benefit- A Taste of Italy Dinner and Silent Auction is Sunday, October 9th, from 1 to 5 p.m. at The Stone House Restaurant in Nevada City.

Lifetime Foundation’s founder, Mardie Caldwell, of Nevada City, was inspired to gather the community together when she learned of Mikayla’s disease.

“When I heard the medication wasn’t working, and that radiation was the next step, I knew it would be very important for Becky to be at Mikayla’s side to help her with recovery,” said Caldwell.

“But as we all know, the bills are going to keep coming in. When you have a single, very hard-working mother doing her best to provide for her family on her own – and now add to that the medical bills.

Taking the time off work would probably not be an option, but it is definitely a priority. Every child needs Mommy when they’re sick,” said Caldwell, mother of two.

“As a family, as Becky’s employer, and as an organization in the community, we want to reach out and raise the funds to help with the medical bills , so Becky will be able to be at home, at Mikayla’s side through the treatment and all the side affects that come with recovering from radiation,” explained Caldwell.

Mikayala, a student at Nevada Union High School, is presently enrolled in a home hospital program. A school teacher comes to her home while she is preparing for her treatments.

Once she has her radiation, Mikayla will need to be on strict bed rest and unable to move for 7 to 9 days.

She will require 24-hour assistance during this entire period.  Her mother, Becky has been taking time off work to be home with her, take her to appointments for the last several months, and needs help with expenses for all of the necessary medical care and travel expenses.

When Becky first learned of the diagnosis of Grave’s disease, she said she was in shock. “Before the diagnosis, I just thought I was seeing the behavior of any normal teenager. You know, the typical sluggishness – but when the doctor told me that she had this disease, my first thought was, ‘Take this away, give it to me.

I just don’t want her going through this,’” said Becky, who knew a family member had also suffered from the same disease, which is an autoimmune disorder.

As for how Mikayla responded to her diagnosis, said her mother, “I really think she was in denial, and might still be. You know, at 16 you’re invincible. Nothing can happen to you. I think she still may not truly realize this can be a fatal disease.”

Becky recalled the day Caldwell offered to help with having a fundraiser. “To be honest, at first I wasn’t sure what to say, just because I’m a strong person. I always take care of my kids, and I didn’t want to take advantage of anyone. But when Mardie insisted, and asked me to just talk with Mikayla about it, I couldn’t say no,” said Becky.

When Becky approached her daughter about the idea, Mikayla seemed a little confused, until Becky explained. Without this fundraiser, there would be no one to provide the 24-hour care for her after the radiation treatment.

 Mikayla then saw why the fundraiser would be vital, and she immediately agreed to the idea. Becky recalls her daughter saying, “‘Cause I want you to be home with me, Mom.”  Those are words that could melt any mother’s heart.

Caldwell wants to get the message out. “We are holding a special Italian Dinner and a great silent auction with music Sunday October 9th.”

Donations for the Silent auction are still very much welcomed.Visit LifetimeFoundation.org to find out more about how you can help.

When Nikko Wu of the Stonehouse heard about Mikayla's situation, she generously offered the space for the fundraiser. It's a beautiful historic place for gathering and banquet. Please support her by referring Stonehouse to your friends. Stonehouse is available for your banquet, luncheon, meeting, art show, concert.... Nikko Wu can be reached by calling 530-346 1188.  Check out their website www.StoneHouse1857.com.

 “If we all put our heads and hearts together, we can make a difference for this family, and for Mikayla who will need her mother at her side as she battles through to recovery,” said Caldwell.

Caldwell explains this is about helping one particular family, and adds, “This is an opportunity for us to reach outside of ourselves and make a difference together as a community.

We are hoping for an amazing turnout and a fun event for the entire family to attend, with great door prizes and auction items"

As for what the support means to the Tokos, the emotion wells in her voice as she shares, “It’s just us, just my girls and I. We are pretty much on our own. That’s why I am so grateful.  I don’t know how to express how grateful I am to the Lifetime family, because without them, this would not be possible.

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