A benefit to aid a child who has been stricken with Leukemia, will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Dec.  7 at the Helen S. Dunn School in Greenbush. The benefit will feature a silent auction and spaghetti dinner.

Wesley O’Keefe is an 8 year old boy from the town of Old Town. His parents work at the Helen S. Dunn School in Greenbush and the University of Maine and teach group exercise at the Old Town-Orono YMCA. The family is dedicated to the health and well being of themselves and the community.

On November 8 Wesley was sent to the Emergency Room after a visit with his PCP. His breathing had become labored over the previous few days and test results at that doctor’s appointment indicated potentially big problems. Upon arrival in the ER doctors determining he was suffering from leukemia and he was moved to the Pediatric ICU. His health quickly declined and it was necessary for him to be intubated after he could not overcome severe respiratory distress.

He stayed sedated and hooked up to a breathing machine unable to breath on his own for nine days. During this time more tests were performed to analyze his health and large lymphatic tumors were found in his chest compressing his airways, lungs and heart. Chemotherapy was started the day he was intubated in hopes of quickly shrinking those tumors. He had ups and downs during this time but on November 17 he was able to be removed from the breathing machine. Two days later he was able be moved out of the PICU to the regular pediatric unit. Both of his parents have been out of work since the day of his hospital admittance and it is still unclear when he will be released to go home.

Wesley’s long-term prognosis is good but treatments will be difficult and ongoing for the next three years. During this time his parents will need to miss additional work.

Enjoy good food, buy tickets and have the opportunity to win raffle items, and help an amazing local family during the spaghetti supper/silent action.

A gofundme.com page also has been set up to help the O’Keefe family. There also is a Facebook page (Help Wes-man beat Leukemia), where updates and further fund-raising efforts will be posted.


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