The 6th annual Halloween Bash to benefit Children‘s Hospital Oakland and to find a cure for Neurofibromatosis type 2 took place on Friday, October 22nd in Walnut Creek, California.
Roland and Nicole Thoms have been throwing this Halloween party since 2003, a year after their daughter,Camille (then 7 years old) was taken to the hospital for emergency surgery to remove a tumor the size of a tangerine from her brain. It was at that time that she was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis 2. Since then, she has had MRIs every 6 months to monitor the growth of the other tumors growing in her body. She had Middle Fossa surgery on her left ear at the House Ear institute last year (November 2009) with Dr. Derald Brackmann.While the surgery was successful in removing the tumor and preserving her cochlear nerve, she was rendered deaf in that ear. She is a candidate for a future cochlear implant.
The party started in the Thoms backyard under the banner―Celebrate Life. It became a fundraiser for the hospital in year 3 to benefit the hospital that saved her life. This year was the first time that the majority of funds raised are going to NF2 through Advocure.
$28,000 was raised altogether through entrance fees, a silent auction, corporate sponsorships and by auctioning off 4 paintings executed by performance painter, David Garibaldi. His performance knocked everybody‘s socks off as he painted 5 foot x 6 foot portraits of Mick Jagger, Bob Marley, a San Francisco Giants batter, and Albert Einstein (which he painted upside down… the painting, not him).
These 4 paintings fetched $10,000 for Advocure. Another $10,000 was earmarked for Advocure so that $20,000 can be sent to Dr. Brad Welling, of Ohio State University. Dr.Welling is currently investigating two lines of drug development that hope to suppress tumor growth. One involves a study into naturally occurring compounds, while the other is focused on traditional drugs.’
Next year‘s Bash will be held on Friday, October 21st with goals of taking it to the next level.
More Information at: www.varsitypainting.com/halloween
To learn more about Camille’s story visit: www.varsitypainting.com/camille