WAYLAND — The community came out to support a fourth grader who has been diagnosed with Leukemia.
Wayland- Cohocton Central student Maelee Hagadone, 10, found out she had Leukemia in February. She has been in and out of Strong Memorial Hospital ever since.
Debbie Rodgers, Maelee’s grandmother, put together a cancer benefit on June 16 at the Wayland American Legion with friends, family, and community members. Dansville, Wayland, Perkinsville, Naples, Cohocton, North Cohocton, Hornell, Springwater, Arkport, and Atlanta all came together with the basket raffles, baked goods, gift certificates, and much more. Charles Lander and Gemini performed live as well.
“Maelee has had three rounds of chemo, kidney dialysis, bone marrow tests, blood tests, and much more since she was diagnosed,” Rodgers said. “She has one more round of chemo to go through. It seems like every time we bring her home she has to go right back to the hospital.”
Rodgers said that there were about 170 baskets donated to the raffle to help support Maelee.
“Everyone has done a tremendous job,” she said. “I called up the Legion to ask if we could have it here, and one of her teachers is part of the Legion. She has been a great help. I am so amazed and thankful to everyone who has helped.”
Rodgers said she didn’t expect to get such an outpouring of help from all over Western New York.
Mary White, Maelee’s great-grandmother, said that it was so great to see everyone come out and support Maelee.
“Everyone has been very generous, and we are all very thankful,” she said. “There are some really good people out there.”
Lander said he has enjoyed the opportunity to come out for a great cause.
“I am so glad to be able to give back,” he said. “I have been blessed a lot in this life, and I love the chance to give back. I know a lot of the people that are at this benefit.”
Gemini sound man Gerry Boerner, Debbie’s boyfriend, was in total shock when they found out Maelee had Leukemia.
“It was a total shock to us when we found out,” he said. “My grandson has just gotten over cancer. He had it two years ago when he was 14. They caught in time, and it didn’t spread throughout his body. We were just thankful for that, and now we are hit with this.”
Gemini Band Manager Rick Seager has known Boerner for about 10 years now.
“Everyone has been affected by cancer is some way. I lost a couple people to cancer myself,” he said. “Cancer is cancer no matter what kind it is. I think it is hard enough for adults, but it is a lot harder on a kid.”
There are seven people in the band Gemini: Steve Dimmick, Dave Frost, Al Klus, Chris Hale, Matt Seager, Gerry Boerner, and Rick Seager.
All of the money raised went to help Maelee get the treatment and care that she needs.