Teri Vance: Fundraisers set for Dayton girl with brain tumor

Teri Vance, in Carson City, Nev., on Friday, April 19, 2019.

Teri Vance, in Carson City, Nev., on Friday, April 19, 2019.

What Malcolm and Monica Gafford thought were migraines with their 7-year-old daughter, Maliya, turned out to be a massive brain tumor.

When her headaches got worse after being treated for a Vitamin D deficiency, the parents took their little girl back to the doctor last week. After a CAT scan, she was immediately flown to the children’s hospital in Oakland, Calif., for emergency surgery.

“I think about every time my kids have a headache, and I just tell them to drink some water,” said family friend Yvette Lopez. “You don’t ever think it could be something like this.”

Lopez is organizing a fundraiser for the family at Jimmy G’s Cigar Bar, 301 N. Carson St., noon-5 p.m. Nov. 23.

“I hope people will show up to support the family,” she said. “They need money to pay off some bills and still have a house to live in.”

Lopez said both parents have missed work to be with their youngest of three daughters during her surgery, which lasted more than 14 hours, and her recovery. They are still waiting on the results of the biopsy.

The fundraiser will feature a raffle — with prizes including speakers from Unique Sounds, sessions at K2 Pilates, gift certificates from the Beauty Academy, Pizza Factory, Bently Heritage, Garibaldi’s and more. Jimmy G’s will also donate 100 percent of the proceeds of Jell-O shots sold during the event.

“Everybody has been willing to donate raffle prizes and help out as much as they can,” Lopez said. “Carson City is really great like that.”

A lifelong Carson City resident, Lopez said she has seen the community support one another time and time again. She is hopeful to see the same results this time.

“A lot of people know the Gaffords,” she said. “I feel like people are going to show up for them.”

Lopez described the family as “outdoorsy. Completely fun and outgoing.”

Maliya, she said, is spunky and independent.

“She is a pistol,” Lopez said. “She is full of love and energy. She’s got a mind of her own.”

In honor of Maliya’s love for pink camouflage, the fundraiser will include a best-dressed camo contest.

Hotdogs and hamburgers will also be sold.

Maliya’s school, Sutro Elementary, also will be a hosting a spaghetti feed as a fundraiser for the family. It will be 5-7 p.m. Wednesday in the multipurpose room of Sutro Elementary School, 190 Dayton Village Parkway.

Admission is $5 and there will be a raffle, silent auction and bake sale as well.

A donation box is set up at the front office of the school for those who would like to contribute but can’t attend the event. A bucket will also be available for donations at Jimmy G’s. For information, call Yvette Lopez at 775-297-1128.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment