Chassell community rallies support for Brody Etelamaki
By Sarah Blakely
Tue, 24 Dec 2013 19:06:28 GMT — In April of this year, then three-year-old Brody Etelamaki was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He and his family were rushed to Wisconsin for emergency surgery where they discovered there was more than one tumor, and they were malignant. After four months of treatments in Texas, Brody was transferred to the University of Michigan where things seemed positive, but his mother, Tanya, said things have recently taken a turn. â??He has a few tumors in his head; some were responding to the treatment and one was not,â?? said Tanya. â??So, after switching treatments, weâ??ve now taken some steps backwards, and some of the other tumors that were responding are no longer responding.â?? Monday night during Chassell schoolâ??s varsity basketball games against Ontonagon, the community rallied to support the Etelamakis. All the proceeds of the night, including entry into the game, concessions, a silent auction, and a bake sale, were being given to the family. However, Friday, Brody, who just celebrated his fourth birthday a few days before, was rushed to University of Michigan for another emergency procedure. He and Tanya flew back into Marquette at 5 p.m. Monday night to make it to the game at 7 p.m., where Brody was presented a Power Wheels car by his two sisters for his birthday. â??Itâ??s amazing. Itâ??s overwhelming,â?? Tanya said. â??I mean, the kindness of friends, family, and strangers, the Chassell community putting on this basketball game in his honor, itâ??s just amazing. Itâ??s wonderful. It renews your hope in the goodness of people.â?? She said theyâ??re taking things one day at a time, and itâ??s not certain yet how things will pan out for Brody. She wants to raise awareness of childhood cancer and said her family is grateful for all the encouragement the community has given. â??People donâ??t know, and childhood cancer is everywhere. You just donâ??t see it unless it happens to you,â?? Tanya said. â??Itâ??s been tough. Thankfully weâ??ve had huge family and community support. Without it, I donâ??t know where weâ??d be because this is hard, but weâ??ll keep fighting.â??
WLUC, Upper Michigan’s News Source provides news, sports, and weather coverage for Marquette, Michigan and nearby communities including Escanaba, Iron Mountain, Houghton, and many others throughout the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.