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Community rallies around young girl with rare brain cancer

Community rallies around young girl with rare brain cancer
Posted at 5:49 PM, Oct 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 11:56:28-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A young girl from Chesterfield is in the fight of her life, battling a rare form of cancer. However, her community is making sure that she's not braving the fight alone.

Sydney Hampton is a bubbly six-year-old girl.

"Sydney is a sassy, bright, silly, dancer, you like first grade," Pam Branch, Sydney's mom, said.

However, two weeks ago, her vision changed, causing a ripple effect. Soon after having vision trouble, she began to lose her balance.

A trip to VCU Medical Center found a sobering answer to the problems.

"They did a CT scan and it showed a mass and then they admitted her," Pam said.

The MRI showed more, bringing more urgency to her treatment. A tumor was found on her brain stem.

"It's inoperable, so they're going to start radiation today," Pam said.

A Petersburg restaurant heard of the tragic medical discovery and decided to make a plan of action.

"It absolutely touched us, it touched our entire staff," Kathleen McCay, the owner of Old Towne's Alibi, said. "We were going to donate all the proceeds from our Wednesday night cornhole tournament to Sydney."

There will also be a raffle.

"So at this point, we've had 18 local businesses reach out to us. They've all stepped up on their own and donated," McCay said.

"It does hurt, it hits home a whole lot more, especially if you have a child, even if you don't, if you have a niece or nephew or something, you'd always want someone to help support whenever they could," David Hays, the owner of the Dixie Restaurant, said.

There will also be a 50-50 raffle and a special $10 cocktail.

"Every penny of that $10 goes directly to Sydney's family," McCay said.

While the organizers are excited to support Sydney and her family, they want to make sure that they are able to do more than just giving them financial support.

"It's heartbreaking what they are going through, so if we can support them financially and help them a little bit through this time to make it easier, you know, and keep praying for a miracle, that's what we need to do," Tanya Ricks, a friend of the family, said.

Over $700 has already been collected for Sydney less than 48 hours into the fundraiser.

Sydney faces six weeks of radiation at VCU and then she'll be heading to Washington D.C. for a clinical trial to try and shrink the tumor.

If you are interested in supporting the family, you can Venmo Sydney's mother at pam-branch-4. You can also contribute to this GoFundMe.