Sister’s love fuelling fundraiser to help sick little girl

A charity bowling event is planned to help Jaylyn Eastman, who has a rare cancer of the sympathetic nerve system. Submitted Photo

Tara Jeffrey

Dawn Cote is honouring her sister’s memory the best way she knows how — by giving back to a family in need.

“I know she would be happy,” Cote said of her late sister, Sue Spano, who died last June after a brief battle with cancer.

This month, Cote will host the Sue Spano Memorial Charity Bowling Event, with proceeds going to support a nine-year-old Sarnia girl facing her fourth bout with cancer.

Last January, following Spano’s diagnosis, Cote organized a golf fundraiser for her sister, who had been told she had a few months to live.

“She loved to golf, and we wanted her to have one more game with her family before she passed away,” said Cote.

All proceeds were donated to St. Joseph’s Hospice.

Around the same time, she heard about Jaylyn Eastman, who’s been battling recurring neuroblastoma — a rare cancer of the sympathetic nerve system — since age three.

“I said to my sister, geez, I would love to have a benefit for this little girl too,” Cote recalled. “So Sue said, ‘Maybe next year, you can have one in my memory.’”

After Spano died, Cote reached out to Eastman’s mom, Krista Clark, a single mom of four, and told her she’d like to organize an event.

“I know it’s expensive — going back and forth for treatment,” said Cote. “Even my sister, as sick as she got, she would hate to see a child have to go through this.”

The Sue Spano Memorial Charity Bowling Event will be held May 25 at Marcin Bowl in Point Edward, beginning at 2 p.m. with five and ten pin games, bake sale, silent auction and live music.

Cote has never met Jaylyn or her mom, but she knows her sister would want her to help any way she could.

“Anything I can do to make this little girl happy,” she said. “To make her smile, to take some financial burden off her family and try to make life a little bit easier for them.”

 

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: The Sue Spano Memorial Charity Bowling Event

WHERE: Marcin Bowl

WHEN: May 25, 2 p.m.

DETAILS: $25 per person for three games (5 or 10 pin) or $10 cover charge; live music and silent auction. To register or to donate auction items, contact Dawn at 519-328-7988.