A spaghetti feed and silent auction fundraiser is set for Sunday to help a Carson City girl’s family stay in Utah with her while she receives two surgeries.
Lillian Dubois, 6, has been in and out of the hospital since birth because of a hereditary condition called currarino triad syndrome, said Sarah, her mother.
Bill Pifer, a volunteer with Kids and Horses, a therapeutic riding center, planned the event to help her parents pay for travel, food and lodging while in Utah.
Pifer has been working with Lillian for three years at the riding facility, he said.
“It’s amazing what the horses can unlock in a child,” Pifer said.
Kids and Horses is not affiliated with the fundraiser, Sarah said. Pifer and a few other members of the group volunteered to set up the fundraiser independent from the riding progam.
“They’re like family at the ranch,” Sarah said. “When we were updating everyone about the last surgery and telling them what was going to happen next (with the next two surgeries), he (Pifer) was like, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ll take care of it. You have enough to worry about.’”
Lillian will receive two surgeries in June at the University of Utah to remove a growth from her spine and to remove a colostomy bag, Sarah said.
“She is a miracle,” Sarah said.
Both Pifer and her mother said Lillian had an “amazing” attitude for what she has been through.
“I was born with the same syndrome that wasn’t diagnosed until 1981,” Sarah said. “I’ve coached her along the way and have tried to show her that she can continue to get through what’s been handed to her.”
Sarah said that women diagnosed with the syndrome are unable to bear children, but a procedure Sarah had enabled her and her husband, Barry, to have Lillian.
“She was meant to be here,” she said. “She has a purpose.”
Lillian met Pifer through the riding p rogram that has “helped her with confidence and with posture, and it has helped her rebuild muscle and regain her strength after each surgery,” Sarah said.
Lillian will spend a month in hospital after her surgeries, Sarah said.
“This is to help them be with their daughter,” Pifer said. “It’s amazing to see this family keep going and going. It’s an inspiration to those of us who have had the good fortune to have healthy children and grandchildren.”
The dinner and silent auction will allow Barry to take time away from work and afford to attend his daughter’s surgeries.
“My husband not being there is not an option,” Sarah said.
Pifer has received gift certificates from Hamdogs Restaurant, Saletti’s, Costco, Applebee’s and Cost Cutters for the silent auction.
The dinner is 2-7 p.m. at Flight Restaurant and Bar at 2244 Meridian Blvd. off of Airport Road. Tickets will be sold at the door. Adults costs $10, and kids 12 and younger cost $5.
For those who wish to donate but cannot attend, there is an account for Lillian at Nevada State Bank, account number 0598021012, in Carson City.