Minden business re-issues challenge | RecordCourier.com

Minden business re-issues challenge

by Karel Delbecq Staff Writer

Haley Vana, 4, diagnosed last spring with anaplastic astrocytoma, an inoperable brain tumor, still needs the community’s support.

To that end, Francesca and Dorothea Francischine, owners of the fine gift shop La Dolce Vita, are issuing the Haley Challenge again.

Businesses are asked to place donation jars on their counters, to help offset medical expenses for the afflicted child. The challenge was first issued in September.

“Response was very slow and this is a simple way everyone can help this little girl,” Francesca said. “We’ve had people who are visiting and don’t know about this child, donate.”

In order to make it easy for businesses to participate, Francesca is making signs available and she will collect and deposit the funds.

The Record-Courier will publish the names and locations of the businesses periodically, as well as the amounts they collect each month.

“We will try to make this as easy to participate in as we possibly can,” Francesca said. “Working together will make a difference.”

And there’s still work to do.

Haley’s parents, Ron and Lin Vana of Minden, chose an alternative course of treatment for their daughter, when conventional medical procedures offered them no hope. Tests last month showed no growth or activity in the tumor.

While this treatment has effectively stabilized the tumor, their insurance has declined to pay as it is a clinical trial. Furthermore, treatment takes place in Houston, outside the HMOs coverage area, leaving the Vana’s with at least $7,200 in uncovered expenses every month.

Haley and her family leave for Houston Wednesday for more visits to the doctor and to spend Christmas with family there.

With family to lend a hand, Lin said, she and Ron might have a break from the routine of caring for a critically ill child.

“We are looking forward to spending a little time together, maybe catch a movie or something,” Lin said.

Francesa, the mother of two boys, can’t count her blessings enough, she said.

“God help any of us if we had to go through this,” she said. “I would do anything to have Lin less stressed and keep little Haley alive.”

To become part of the Haley Challenge or for further information about it, call Francesca at 783-0893 or stop by the store at 1758 Highway 395, Minden.

More information about Haley’s treatment, upcoming benefits and more, can be found on the Web at http://www.helphaley.com

— Karel Delbecq can be reach by e-mail at delbecq@swiftnews.com