This Saturday, there is an opportunity to be part of an event that will bring joy to your very soul..an event that will stir your emotions, and give you a sense of community and love for those who are going through some tough times...an event where your participation and support can make a world of difference to two little girls and their families.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
This Saturday, there is an opportunity to be part of an event that will bring joy to your very soul..an event that will stir your emotions, and give you a sense of community and love for those who are going through some tough times...an event where your participation and support can make a world of difference to two little girls and their families.
Convoy of Hope is that opportunity. Registration begins at 11 a.m. at Moran's Lounge on Route 135 between Westernport and Keyser - when folks can sign up to be in the convoy that starts promptly at 2 p.m.
The convoy will consist of firetrucks, motorcycles, diesel pick-up trucks and tractor trailers - many decorated in the color gold/yellow in honor of childhood cancer awareness.
According to Kathy Beeman Hanlin, the matriarch of the Hanlin family that organizes this creative fundraising event - the proceeds will benefit Holley, 1-year-old daughter of Mike and Luann Crowe, and Brooklyn, 4-year-old daughter of Ashlee Lane.
"We made our first tip to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Wednesday to meet with her team of doctors, radiologists and pretty much everyone who will care for her during Proton Beam Radiation. The oncologist we already knew - she is who told us the second opinion regarding Holley’s official diagnosis, and recommended treatment at Hopkins. Holley will receive 28 radiation treatments five days a week, to the spinal area (tumor bed) and spot left. Given Holley's age, diagnosis, and having multiple resections, 28 is the maximum they can give safely...so less than the 32 we expected. She will be put to sleep each time. Today she had CT simulation - which helps them know exactly how she needs placed each and every time, had a mask made for over her face, and a tattoo (yes a permanent tattoo dot on her chest that can only be removed by laser treatment, it’s small but still) for where the proton beam will go. Today was the first time I saw her be put to sleep - I always had Dad go in with her. WOW. Talk about heart wrenching. When she was done, her anesthesia nurse told us today that she was a feisty one, and she didn’t quit moving around until all the sedation medication was given. She stayed asleep post-scan for a total of three minutes, and the recovery nurse said that Holley will be fulfilling the spitfire role of another little girl who is almost done radiation. As always there are risks to radiation, but the benefit outweighs the chance of not doing it and having the tumor growing back. As usual, she is in good spirits and just hanging out. We are so very thankful she has been able to be treated at not one, but two of the top ranked children’s hospitals in the United States. Radiation will start Oct. 5, so for now we will enjoy two more weeks at home," says Leann.
The convoy will be held rain or shine and vehicles can be registered the day of the event. Cost for registration is free for fire trucks, $20 for motorcycles and pickups, and $40 for tractor trailers.
The convoy route will begin at Moran's, travel over to Keyser to Walmart, turn around and come back, passing Moran's and going up Route 36 to Frostburg - where the convoy will turn around at McDonald's and travel back down Route 36 through Barton,  and back to Moran's.
The convoy will be posted live on Facebook, and when everyone gets back to Moran's after the convoy, there will be many outdoor activities available for everyone to enjoy. Activities will include live music, a silent auction, food concessions, cotton candy, popcorn and Icees, bounce houses, face painting and a candy drop.
Admission for children 12 and under is free, and everyone else pays a $5 admission charge.
Music will be provided by RK Kyle, 5-6 p.m., Tommy Duckworth, 6-7 p.m., Perry and Sean Kamp, 7-10 p.m., and Savage Roads, 10 p.m.-1 a.m.
Ronald McDonald House, affiliated with WVU in Morgantown, will also be at the event and will be presented with a donation by the Hanlin family for the F.R.O.G. (Family Room On the Go) at the hospital.
"Last year everyone raised over $10,000 to benefit the cancer patient and her family, and we're hoping that this year will be even better! We really appreciate the community coming together and helping these girls. I would like to especially thank Jodi and Anthony Taylor for all that they have done to help us bring this event together," adds Kathy. "Hope for Convoy is only possible because our community steps up, decorates the town's with yellow and gold and comes out when there's someone in need!"
"Brooklyn's story began at the beginning of this year. I felt a lump in her stomach area, and honestly I thought she had constipation. After a few days, I took her to the doctor, whom I found to be a very smart man. He said that it is one of two things - either a hernia or a very specific childhood cancer. Obviously, I was completely shocked that he would even suggest cancer, but he ended up being right. We were almost immediately sent to UCDavis, which has the best pediatric oncology department in the area. We did a biopsy, which confirmed that it was Wilms tumor, which is a nephroblastoma kidney cancer. The mass was too large for the doctor to do surgery, so they started her on chemo first. After a time, they felt comfortable completing the surgery, and removed her kidney, the tumor and about 19 lymph nodes. She continued with more chemo and seven days of radiation. There were a few periods of time where we were not sure if she was going to make it. But she is strong and so loved, and she pulled through and has overcome every obstacle in her way. Monday is supposed to be her last chemo. Her blood counts are too low right now to give her the chemo but hopefully by Monday they will be better and we can finish her treatment," says Ashlee.
What circumstances these lovely, beautiful children have had to endure. Their families have spent many sleepless nights worrying about their babies. It is the least we can do to help them however we can. I encourage you to come to Moran's on Saturday - either to see the convoy take off, or to be there when it gets back. It's a busy weekend, and there are so many activities going on around the region. But, what would be better than supporting this cause and helping these beauties? Holley's and Brooklyn's lives matter, and we can give our love and light to them by supporting this fundraiser on Saturday. Hope to see you there!!
If you absolutely cannot come on Saturday, though, at least get on to Facebook at 2 p.m. and watch the convoy. It will be an incredible experience.
God's blessings to the Hanlin Family for coordinating this second annual event, and to the Crowe and Lane families.