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Benefit set for Feb. 9 for Kelly Merkel

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 1:45 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 10:43 a.m. CDT

LADD — Caring for Kelly, a benefit for Kelly (Daugherty) Merkel in her fight against Cervical Spinal Cord Lymphoma, will be Feb. 9 at Dick's in Ladd, beginning at 4 p.m.

The event will include a live auction, raffles, a 50/50 drawing, a silent auction, live music by Last Call, food and a bake sale.

Merkel resides in Spring Valley with her husband, Bruce, and their three children. In April 2012, she began experiencing back pain and tremors in her hands. After an MRI, she was referred to a neurologist in Peoria. Prior to that appointment, she entered the emergency room in Peoria with numbness in her arms and legs. A week stay there ended with no diagnosis. After an emergency room visit to Illinois Valley Community Hospital several days later, she was sent directly to the emergency room at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minn. After repeated weekly visits to the Mayo Clinic and countless tests, she was diagnosed with Cervical Spinal Cord Lymphoma in September 2012. The Mayo Clinic also determined that the mass on her spine is inoperable.

Since that time, Kelly has undergone six bi-weekly chemotherapy treatments at the Mayo Clinic with her husband by her side. In the beginning of the January, she is scheduled to begin a three- to four-week schedule of radiation therapy. This is an outpatient procedure and will require her to be in Minnesota for the week for each treatment.

Kelly's husband is an operator who is laid off at the present time. Kelly has only worked sporadically at her part-time job between her trips to the Mayo Clinic so expenses are beginning to take a toll.

The event is sponsored by the Committee for Kelly. Donations are being accepted at North Central Bank in Ladd. For more information, contact Deb Andes at 815-894-3422 or Rita Alleman at 815-481-6393.

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