Raymond rallies to support 12-year-old with cancer
RAYMOND - Strangers she has never met spent the day providing words of encouragement to 12-year-old Alanna Marcotte of Derry on Sunday.
Marcotte is battling osteosarcoma, a secondary cancer that has spread throughout her body.
She is currently undergoing radiation therapy in Boston five days a week. Once those treatments have concluded, her father, Bobby Marcotte, said they hope to get her involved with clinical trials to help more effectively fight the cancer.
Bobby Marcotte, is the head chef at Tuckaway Tavern and Butchery in Raymond, and on Sunday his colleagues held a successful "A Brave Little Soul" fundraiser to help the family with costs associated with Alanna's medical treatments.
Dozens of Alanna's friends and teachers from West Running Brook school in Derry dug themselves out of the snow and made their way to Raymond for the event.
Alanna Marcotte said she was "overwhelmed" by all of the people who came out to support her and her family.
"It's a little overwhelming with all the people but it's cool how the community came together," Alanna Marcotte said. "It makes me feel that someone can really make a difference."
Alanna Marcotte sat in the seat of honor dressed in purple, her favorite color, and surrounded by friends.
She is a typical 12-year-old who likes to draw, hang out with her friends and play video games, including Call of Duty, she said with a giggle.
The president of the Nor-Rock Vikings football team, Tona McCarthy, said his players will soon wear purple arm bands bearing Alanna's former soccer number, to honor her and her fight against childhood cancer.
Bobby Marcotte said this is his only daughter's second fight with the secondary cancer and her third battle with cancer since her birth.
He said right now, he and Alanna's mother, Crystal Marcotte, are just trying to keep their daughter comfortable. The couple is divorced, but both live in Derry and share custody of Alanna.
On Sunday, Alanna was just trying to have some fun while hundreds of other people bid on silent and live auction items, took a chance on raffle items and donated to at least three 50/50 raffles that each raised more than $1,000 during the day-long event.
More than 60 people, including chairman of the board of selectmen, Lee Weldy, got a brave buzz cut for the cause, shaving their heads for donations.
Jesse Higgins, 30, of Epping, raised $350 to shave his head.
"She's 12 and it's awful to have cancer at 12 and shaving your head is not that big a deal," Higgins said.
As Bobby Marcotte took in all of the people gathered in his restaurant to help his daughter, he was left speechless and said he is just grateful at all of the support being provided to his daughter.
"A lot of people say 'this must be hard on you' but it is not about me, it is all about keeping her spirits up. She's fighting the battle," he said.
A fund has also been set up through People's United Bank in Raymond to help with Alanna's medical costs.