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Bike ride will benefit 4-year-old girl with brain tumor

5:50 PM, Oct 11, 2012   |    comments
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People in Loudon County remember a tragic event with a positive effort to help someone in need.

Loudon County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Acott was killed in the line of duty in 2004.

The annual motorcycle ride named for him raises money for a good cause.

This Saturday's ride will help a local family.

Madison is four years old. She is the only child of Todd and Ashley Currier.

"We think she's pretty adorable," Ashley Currier said about her daughter.

The family lives in Lenoir City.

"She really enjoys being outside so anything outside, if it's swimming or outside she's happy," she said.

This summer Madison went to her doctor for her regular check up.

"She has had an uneven smile forever since we can remember and her pediatrician noticed it on her four year check up and thought maybe it was a Bell's Palsy that had not corrected," she explained.

Tests showed it was actually something else.

"Juvenile Polycytic Astrocytoma. Yes. They call it a JPA."

It is a golf ball sized tumor on her brain stem.

St. Jude Children's Research Center in Memphis accepted Madison as a patient in mid-July.

The hospital's team of brain cancer specialists supervise Madison's radiation treatments five days a week.

"They can't get it to go completely away. Their goal is to shrink it and then scar over the outside so it won't re-grow. She'll always have it. It will always be there, but hopefully just in a dormant state," she said.

90% of tumors like Madison's are malignant but thankfully hers is benign.

"We didn't really tell her anything until she had to have surgery. We just told her that she has a boo boo in her head and they have to fix it," she said.

Travel from Lenoir City to Memphis is tough. Todd's there all the time so he can't work and Ashley can work only part time.

"I come home and work for 5 days and then I have a day to recover and then I go back," she said. "We're managing. We get by. We have great family and the community has been amazing. They've done fund raisers."

The Jason Scott Bike Ride this Saturday will benefit Madison and her family.

"We can use all the support. And if there's any money left over in the end out of all of this then we're donating it all back to St. Jude anyway," she said.

After radiation treatments wrap up at St. Jude Madison will have follow up scans every 8 weeks. She can come home, come back to Lenoir City, to a community rallying around a family facing a difficult time.

"It's nice to see some positive in a really negative situation," she said.

The ride starts at 11:00 Saturday morning at Lenoir City Park.

The $20 entry fee includes lunch and benefits Madison Currier and her family.

Wednesday afternoon the entire family headed home from Memphis to Lenoir City where Madison will continue to heal.

Follow up scans will monitor her health.

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