Community raises money for ‘determined’ teen battling leukemia

Community raises money for ‘determined’ teen battling leukemia

WILLIAMSTON, N.C. (WITN) – An Eastern Carolina community came together Thursday to help a teenager who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.

On Nov. 3rd, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Martin County Law Officer’s Association partnered up with the Roanoke Cashie Youth Dream Team and Martin County Special Olympics for a BBQ fundraiser to help pay for medical bills.

Talisa Blount is a 17-year-old with high-functioning autism. She recently had surgery to remove a tumor in her jaw, but shortly after, she was also diagnosed with leukemia.

“She took it on the chin and kept right on going, and she’s been a strong, strong individual at her age. I mean, a lot of people go through this and just struggle, but she’s bound and determined not to,” Blount’s Godfather Ashley Futrell said.

This all comes as her family grieves the death of her brother.

“CJ and Talisa were best friends growing up. Talisa couldn’t really talk that good, CJ could always understand her, and so it was just a hard transition after he passed,” Blount’s aunt Charmayne Purkett said.

A BBQ plate fundraiser was set up to help the family with medical costs and travel expenses. 550 plates were sold filled with chopped BBQ, stewed potatoes, string beans, a roll, and dessert.

At $10 a piece, the fundraiser was about to give $5,000 to the Blount family.

This isn’t the first time the Martin County Law Officer’s Association has held fundraisers like this.

One man who benefited from a previous fundraiser after he was diagnosed with brain cancer decided Thursday’s event was a good time to give back.

“I’ve been through it; I know how it feels,” Parker Joyner said.

As for the community, several residents showed their support by buying the plates of BBQ.

“I just wanted to help the community, and I know what it means to have a sick family member,” Williamston resident Thurman Savage said.

According to Talisa Blount’s aunt, she is now in good spirits as she currently goes through chemotherapy.

You can stay updated with Talisa’s journey through the Talisa Blount foundation page.

BBQ Fundraiser for Talisa and her family.

BBQ Fundraiser for Talisa and her family.

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