Two fund-raisers planned in the coming weeks will help the family of a Cape Coral girl, who was recently diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer.
Marilyn "Lynn" Schrowe, 11, a sixth-grader at Gulf Middle School, was diagnosed Feb. 15 with stage 3 diffuse pontine glioma - a brainstem tumor. Her family first recognized something was wrong in November.
A competitive cheerleader for six years, Lynn was having trouble with her tumbling and she started to develop a droopy eye, according to family friend Miranda Cameron, whose own daughter is one of the girl's closest friends.
Cameron, who is helping to organize one of the fund-raisers, explained that Lynn underwent extensive testing at multiple hospitals to find the cause.
"All this time, her symptoms were progressing," she said.
Lynn's parents eventually pulled their daughter out of school. This past February, a brain biopsy was performed and the cancer was identified.
Cameron explained that the girl's symptoms have progressed "pretty quickly" over the few months and that she is in a wheelchair "quite a bit."
"Lynn and her parents have to go to Orlando to Arnold Palmer (Hospital for Children) Monday through Friday for radiation - chemo therapy," she said.
Lynn's father, an ER nurse, has been unable to work because of this.
"It's the only treatment plan, at this point, that they know of," she said.
So, Cameron and the mothers of Lynn's other close friends came up with the idea for the Love for Lynn Walk-a-Thon to help raise money for the family.
"We wanted to do something quickly - we wanted to keep it simple and affordable," she said, adding that hospital bills have started coming in.
"We're trying to fund raise to help off set some of their bills," Cameron said.
The Love for Lynn Walk-a-Thon will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the track at Ida S. Baker High School, at 3500 Agualinda Blvd. The entry fee is $10 to participate in the walk; registration begins at 9:30 a.m.
There will be music, face painting, shopping, a baked goods sale and more. Woody's Surfside Island Rum and Grille will have food available for purchase.
"One hundred percent of the proceeds are going to the family," she said. "Everyone who is coming out is basically volunteering."
T-shirts will be for sale for $10, with all proceeds going to the family.
"It's just a gathering of people to come out and support her," Cameron said. "We just want to show them that we are supporting them and we love them."
Organizers are hoping to attract at least 1,000 walkers.
"We would like to raise above $10,000, if possible," she said.
People can also make a donation online at: www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/Love-forLynn/43027.
An account has also been created at Fifth Third Bank for anyone who would like to donate to the family. It is listed under "Marilyn 'Lynn' Schrowe."
Ride for Lynn
The following weekend a motorcycle run will be held to raise funds for the family, as well. The Ride for Lynn kicks off April 14 at 10:30 a.m. at the Hide Away Bar & Grill - the former American Legion - at 4720 S.E. 15th Ave.
Family friend Fritz Gisewhite came up with the idea to organize the ride.
"It was one of those things, 'What can I do to help the family?'" he said, adding that he and Lynn's father are close friends and dive buddies.
"I just decided to throw a ride together, that's something we do every Sunday," Gisewhite said. "I know the ownership of the three places, and I knew they would be very receptive if I asked them to open their doors."
After leaving the Hide Away, the ride will stop at: LJ's Lounge, at 16500 State Road 31, Fort Myers; the Buckingham Blues Bar, at 5641 Buckingham Road, Fort Myers; and the Wild House Sports Bar and Grill, at 4451 Veronica S. Shoemaker Blvd., Fort Myers. Riders will then return to the Hide Away.
All of the stops along the ride plan to donate a portion of their sales.
A hog roast, with music, raffles and prizes, will follow at the Hide Away.
Gisewhite had pink wristbands made for the event that state, "Live to Ride. Ride to Live. Ride for Lynn." They will be available for purchase at the event, plus each rider will receive one when they register and donate to the cause.
To register, riders are asked to donate any amount that they can.
"Whatever they want to donate," he said.
As of Tuesday, Gisewhite was unsure of how many people had registered.
"I'm anticipating over 250 bikes, at this point," he said.
"The outpouring of support has been so overwhelming," Gisewhite said.
Local businesses are donating the food for the hog roast. There will be raffles held for motorcycle-related prizes, like a custom paint job and seat recovery, along with weekend stays at hotels and salon gift certificates.
The band Crossroads has volunteered to play and will serve as the "host band," meaning it will make its equipment available for other groups.
"Other bands that want to come out and participate - they can come out and use their equipment," Gisewhite said.
For more information about the Ride for Lynn or to register for the fund-raiser, contact Fritz Gisewhite at 239-841-7377 or email@example.com.