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How to help the Harvey family

Spaghetti dinner planned tonight as benefit

MINOOKA — Tracy Harvey was just a normal mother of three teenagers, raising her kids, active in the Minooka United Methodist Church, working at the Channahon branch of the Three Rivers Public Library, married to a loving husband, and making sure she found some time here and there for her hobbies of gardening and reading.

Then suddenly, while she was cooking dinner one night this past October, she had a series of little seizures in her face.

After trips to two emergency rooms, Tracy got news like she never expected. The seizures were the first signs of two brain tumors – both cancerous.

She had glioblastoma, which is an aggressive type of cancer that arises from the brain’s astrocyte cells. It was a huge blow to the family.

“It was a very shocking thing,” her mother-in-law, Martha Ann Harvey, said.

One tumor was the size of a lime, Martha Ann said, and the other about as small as a dime. Surgery was performed quickly – about five days after the diagnosis – and they removed as much as they were able of the larger one, but they didn’t take anything off the smaller one.

It would have affected the part of her brain that controls movement, her mother-in-law explained.
After about two weeks in the hospital recovering, Tracy had a large seizure after only a few days at home.

“Her left arm and left leg were affected,” Martha Ann said. “She can’t do much with her hand.”

Both Tracy and her husband, David, took leaves from work, and David is helping her through chemotherapy, radiation therapy and physical therapy.

The medical bills are rising, and with both off work, members of their church in the group The United Methodist Women of Minooka are hosting a spaghetti benefit on the family’s behalf.

It is Saturday, Dec. 8, from 5 – 7 p.m., at the Minooka United Methodist Church annex, 205 Church St., Minooka. A full spaghetti dinner will be served. There is no set price. Those attending may contribute whatever they feel is appropriate.

Church member and benefit volunteer Pam Coley said donations are tax-deductible, and in addition to cash, gift cards or Christmas presents for the children are appreciated.

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