Connellsville toddler fighting cancer

| Monday, July 27, 2009

Parker Scarry, 23 months old, has a winning smile, an engaging personality, a loving family and lots of friends.

He was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 14 months and has been undergoing treatment at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. He has had two brain surgeries, chemotherapy and is undergoing radiation treatment each weekday.

"We thought he had a stomach virus, then he became very lethargic and we took him to Children's and they found a mass in his brain. It turned out to be cancer," said Julie Scarry, his mother.

"They did brain surgery and he had five rounds of chemo," Scarry said, "but the tumor grew back. Parker had another surgery and now he will have six weeks of radiation."

She thanked the staff of Children's Hospital for the tremendous care they are providing.

Parker is doing well, she said. "We're doing a lot of praying. He is very mellow, he's a very calm baby, he's always happy, no matter what happens. He loves his sisters, the dogs, his bunny rabbit. He pretends to drive the car and makes car sounds. He's a joy to have."

The Scarrys, of Connellsville, do have health insurance, but co-payments, some medications, travel expenses and other incidental expenses related to Parker's treatment are causing a strain.

Parker's godmother, Charity Patterson, and other family friends, have arranged the benefit, which will begin at 5 p.m. Friday at the Connellsville Township Fire Hall. All proceeds will go to the Scarry family.

The Parker James Angel Committee "was formed by a bunch of people who are acquaintances, friends or strangers who wanted to do something," Patterson said. "We've got baskets coming in from all over. We have sports baskets, wine baskets, baskets with gift certificates for restaurants and other services. We've got T-shirts with a picture of Parker for sale. Vicky Mongell made a Victorian dollhouse that's almost 4-feet tall that will go off on Parker's birthday." The T-shirts and a chance for the dollhouse are each $10. Parker will turn two on Aug. 29.

Patterson said the night of music by local groups will be a fun way to raise money for the Scarrys. Switch is the headliner. The Chris Higbee Project and the Kortney Jean Band will play. DJ Pete Ruggeri is a special guest.

Tickets will only be sold at the door and they cost $10. Because alcohol will be sold, only adults 21 and older will be admitted.

"It's amazing how big a small town can become in someone's time of need," Patterson said.

"We're blessed with what the community is doing for us," Scarry said.

Check Parker's progress on the web site Patterson maintains: The site also contains information regarding the dollhouse raffle, which will continue through August.

Donations may be sent to the Parker James Cancer Fund c/o James Scarry, 12 Sky View Lane, Connellsville, PA 15425.

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