Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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March 19, 2014

Prayin' for Gracie

Community rallies behind little girl

DANVILLE — Gracie Bennett doesn’t seem like someone who is fighting for her young life. At age 7, she continues to battle a brain tumor with the help of her family, friends, and the community at large.

Gracie was diagnosed with Oligoastrocytoma, a brain tumor, in February 2010. Her family took her to the hospital after she experienced seizures. She completed several rounds of chemo therapy and her tumor was no longer growing.

She is the daughter of Chris and Stephanie Bennett of Avon.

The Hendricks County Flyer first covered Gracie’s story when she joined forces with fellow “Riley Kid” Maeci Young to create the Maeci and Gracie Give Back Foundation. The girls met while receiving chemotherapy treatments at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. They and their families have become close friends and even took their Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World together.

The girls, with lots of help from family and friends, started the Maeci & Gracie’s Gives Back A Wish Softball Tournament in 2011. Since then, they have raised enough to send several Make-A-Wish children on their dream vacations.

In October 2013, Gracie began to have seizures once again.

“She started having the seizures more frequently so we took her to the ER in February,” Stephanie said. “We learned she was having a seizure every five minutes. They gave her a video EEG and admitted her to the hospital.”

Dr. Jodi Smith recommended Gracie have surgery to remove more of the tumor.

“We won’t know until the day of surgery if the tumor has grown,” Stephanie said. “We don’t really know what will happen during the surgery. It all depends on what they find out is going on in there.”

Gracie will have surgery on her right frontal lobe March 31 at Riley. Smith will be doing the surgery.

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