Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Community

May 11, 2012

Two little girls, two giant hearts

Tournament benefits Make A Wish

AVON —  Maeci Young and Gracie Bennett, two local Make-A-Wish kids, are once again raising funds for other children’s wishes. The two little fighters have big hearts.

Maeci, 12, of Danville, and Gracie, 5, of Avon, met and became fast friends while they were both receiving chemotherapy treatments at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

Maeci is the daughter of Keli and Jay Young and Gracie is the daughter of Chris and Stephanie Bennett. In February 2010, Gracie was diagnosed with Oligoastrocytoma, a brain tumor. Maeci was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in April 2010.

The girls and their families had become close friends and ended up taking their Make-A-Wish trip together to Disney World.

Maeci has now been cancer free for more than a year and Gracie just received word that her tumor condition is stable.

“She will get her port out, which is a big relief,” Stephanie Bennett said. “When the port is in, there is a much greater risk of infection. Being able to take it out for three months is wonderful.”

Bennett said Gracie will be able to swim and play this summer with less worry. She will then have another MRI in August to see how her tumor is doing.

“Maeci really has become a big sister to Grace,” Bennett said. “Maeci is now old enough to baby sit Gracie and tries to encourage her. It’s so good to have her around.”

The families dedicate time and effort to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant more wishes for children suffering from severe or life threatening illnesses.

The Maeci & Gracie’s Give Back A Wish Softball Tournament is May 19 and 20 at Avon Softball Park, 104 S. C.R. 625 E., Avon. The event will begin at 8 a.m. May 19.

Last year, the girls hosted the first tournament in hopes of granting a wish for another local child. They ended up raising $13,000, which was enough to grant two wishes.

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