Community Rallies Around Benefit for O.P. High School Student | Community Spirit
While Junior Kaely Kwitek bravely battles Stage 4 Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, the fight to raise funds is getting national attention
Orchard Park, NY – Kaely Kwitek has always been a bright, positive, and energetic teen who is a very active student at Orchard Park High School, whether it is excelling in the classroom, on the varsity cheerleading squad, or in her volunteer work with the Orchard Park Little Loop Football league. The middle child in a family of five and always a bundle of energy, the 16-year-old student knew something was terribly wrong with her health in January of this year. She was hospitalized five times since Super Bowl Sunday. Doctors removed her appendix and gall bladder.
Only until Friday, February 10th, 2012, did physicians deliver the difficult diagnosis: Kaely Kwitek suffered from Stage 4 Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma.
For the next year and a half, she will undergo incredibly challenging chemotherapy treatments. She receives home tutoring but is fighting hard to come back to the classroom, and eventually, her beloved cheerleading squad.
Until then, the Western New York Community is rallying around Kaely and is hosting a massive fundraiser to offset soaring medical costs. Their team dubbed “TEAM KWI” and “Together We Will Win” is hosting a big benefit on Sunday, May 6th, 2012, from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM. It will take place at “The Chicken Coop – VFW Post 8113,” located at 299 Leydecker Road, West Seneca, New York.
“We are humbled and inspired at the outpouring of support from friends, family, and complete strangers, in their heartfelt quest to help Kaely and our family in this time of need,” said Kaely’s mother, Maggie Dreyer.
“While this journey has been incredibly difficult and painful for our daughter, the amount of time, effort, and commitment put into hosting this fundraiser has warmed her heart and most certainly ours,” said Kaely’s step-father, Dan Dreyer.
Kaely’s supporters are incredibly passionate, so much so that they caught the attention of NBA player Kris Humphries. Friends sent a massive number of “Tweets” to the New Jersey Nets superstar to let him know it was her dream to meet him. The message was heard loud and clear. Humprhies invited Kaely to attend the Nets home game in New Jersey against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 23rd, 2012.
“Kris Humphries was amazing. It was very kind of him to not only respond to our Twitter campaign, but to invite me to be his special guest at an NBA game. It lifted my spirits tremendously. Fighting this disease is not easy. It’s hard, and most days are pretty rough. For that one night, I didn’t feel like a cancer patient. I most certainly won’t at our upcoming fundraiser as well,” said Kaely, who just this past week attempted to head back to Orchard Park High School for classes.
Details are still being worked on that would allow Kris Humprhies to either send a videotaped message or appear live via Skype at the benefit on Sunday, May 6th, 2012. Photos and videos of their meeting can be found on the Facebook page: “Benefit for Kaely Kwitek.”
The Western New York community has been very generous with donations what will help offset the heavy burden of paying for treatments related to Stage 4 Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma.
LHR Inc. and Capital Management Services made generous donations. There will be silent auctions for three, one-week stays, in a Florida condominium and a week stay in a Myrtle Beach condominium. A 40-inch big screen television is one of the “big ticket” raffle items. Consumers Beverages will be donating all drinks. Five Star Productions is providing music and Redstone Studios is providing a photo booth for the family-friendly fundraiser. A special kids section is available for face painting, cotton candy, and animal balloons.
There are more than 350 baskets and sports memorabilia available at the “Chinese Auction” portion of the benefit, as well as 50 lucky chances.
“We can’t thank our supporters enough for their donations of gifts and time to support our family,” added Dan Dreyer.
“Kaely is such and amazing young woman. She’s going to fight and beat this terrible disease,” added Maggie Dreyer.
Those who cannot attend the benefit can drop off a check made out to “Benefit for Kaely” at any Key Bank branch in Erie County.
“On behalf of ‘TEAM KWI’ I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to those great people who are helping to make this benefit a big success. It means the world to me to know how kind our community is,” added Kaely.