Steak dinner to help leukemia patient

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Byrd’s Chapel in Carriere will soon hold a fundraiser dinner in support of a 14-year-old girl who was recently diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia.

Hannah Frierson is a Pearl River County resident who at first displayed no noticeable signs or symptoms, said her mother Wendy. But on Jan. 8, Hannah developed a high fever and was transported to Highland Community Hospital, where tests for flu and strep came back negative, so she was sent home. Two days later, she woke up weak and dizzy – her fever even higher than before. After spending time in the emergency room, she was transported to the Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson where she was officially diagnosed with leukemia. Her mother, Wendy, stated that everything was, “Like you would see in a movie.”

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Hannah has been at the Jackson based children’s hospital since she was originally admitted on the 10th, and is currently undergoing two forms of chemotherapy. Her mother stated that after the initial 28 days are up, doctors will take a bone biopsy to determine whether Hannah will be able to return home on “homebound” status, or whether she will need to remain hospitalized.

The Frierson family is part of Byrd’s Chapel’s congregation, where Hannah has been very active in the church’s youth ministry, Sharon Bonnecarrere said.

Wendy Frierson was set to start a new job at Highland on Jan. 15, but has had to put her career on hold to stay by her daughter’s side, Wendy said.

In response to the need for the family, Bonnecarrere is organizing the fundraising event. For the past four years, the church has held a steak fundraiser. This year, after hearing about Hannah’s situation, members of Byrd’s Chapel decided to donate the proceeds to the Frierson family. Bonnecarrere said the fundraiser was a “perfect fit,” for their situation.

Because Wendy Frierson had to put her career on hold, the family currently has no steady income, so any donations will help with living and hospital expenses.

The steak dinner will be held on February 10 at 6 p.m. A maximum of 200 steaks will be served, so reservations are required by Feb. 5.

The dinner will not have a set price, but will instead rely on donations.

To make a reservation, contact Sharon Bonnecarrere at (601) 799-3045. For anyone unable to attend the dinner, but would still like to donate to the cause, a check can be addressed to Wendy Frierson and mailed to Byrd’s Chapel, 26 Byrds Chapel Rd., Carriere, Miss., 39426.