FULTON, NY – Danger is her middle name. Literally.
As such, the young Brooklyn Danger Marie Hall is no stranger to looking danger in the face.
“Brooklyn Danger is not your typical 3-year-old. She is the most dangerous girl in the world. She is the kind of girl that has no fear, jumps without second guessing, and runs full speed into dangerous situations,” her mom, Meghan Hall, said on the youngster’s GoFundMe account.
And now, at not yet even four-years-old, Brooklyn Hall dubbed “Danger Girl” is staring danger right in the face once again as she battles Ependymoma, a rare type of brain cancer occurring in only eight to 10 percent of childhood brain tumors.
A rare cancer, her case was even more unusual as the tumor was found in a unique part of the brain with unusual size and shape. Special treatment became priority and would be extensive, doctors told the Hall family.
“We are part of several research studies. I just signed up for another one, a ten year study. She’s part of a new cancer treatment and they want to study her side effects and progress. We will need to travel back and forth to Tennessee every year for at least the next ten years, which means we will need help on and off throughout her life,” Meghan explained.
As she recalls it, Brooklyn’s cancer journey began in September with just a runny nose, Meghan explained.
Symptoms beginning with a running nose, to leaning her head to the left, to her eyes beginning to look left, to becoming unbalanced and lethargic.
After three days of symptoms, Brooklyn’s parents took her to the pediatrician expecting her to have something as simple as an ear infection but instead, were quickly told they needed to head to the emergency room.
An MRI revealed that she had a baseball sized tumor in her frontal lobe that was pressing on her brain, her traumatic story continued.
Danger Girl went in for emergency brain surgery to remove the tumor the following morning and has since undergone had four brain surgeries, a fifth surgery to place a port in her chest, three blood transfusions, three shunts, one concussion, and countless MRI’s in a total of three different hospitals.
Now, Brooklyn and her parents, Meghan and Kurt Hall are in Tennessee receiving care at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, having just started the most dangerous journey the toddler has yet to encounter – the first week of 33 total radiation treatments.
With her mother and father at her side, Brooklyn left her five-year-old brother, Logan, the rest of her family, her home and community behind to receive upstanding treatment at St. Jude.
And while the emotional burden of uprooting their lives has taken a significant toll, especially missing Logan as he stays home with his grandmother, the financial obligations pile up as well.
To ease some of that financial burden, the Hall family has received an outpouring of support through financial donations, care packages, gifts, and encouraging cards and letters.
Last week, the Fulton community rallied together at a vendor benefit organized by Kaitlin Lefebvre, Alyssa Moroz Bleau, and Kayli Maxam.
17 vendors gathered at Fulton’s All Saints Episcopal Church, each paying a $25 booth rental fee and donating a percentage of their sales up to their own discretion to the Hall family.
Thirteen prize baskets were donated to the benefit, each raffled off with proceeds to benefit the Hall family.
The vendor fair helped the local community to shop local for the holiday season while serving a greater cause to help ease some financial stress for the Halls, Alyssa Bleau said.
In total, the event raised more than $1,100 to benefit the Hall family.
“Benefits and donations allow our family to use our time focused on her care rather than focusing on bills. When cancer hits your family, it hits hard and without warning. There is no preparation for it,” Meghan said. “We have been out of work since September 19. These benefits allow our family to stay out of work and stay together. We have been lucky enough with the help of family and friends that my husband has been able to stay with Brooklyn and I in Tennessee. If he wasn’t here, I don’t know what I would do. His support and strength keeps me going, keeps me sane, so I can focus my energy on her.”
Another benefit will raise money for the Hall family this weekend.
A benefit to celebrate Brooklyn’s courage will take place on Sunday, December 10 from 1-6 p.m. at Asil’s Pub (220 Chapel Drive, Syracuse) with food, beer, wine, soda, music, raffles, games and fun!
Huge raffle prizes include 55” LED TV, sapphire bracelet, diamond/sapphire earrings, diamond necklace/earring set, fully decorated Christmas tree, Tailwater Resort night stay with gift certificate and endless baskets and gift certificates from local restaurants and businesses.
All proceeds will go to the Hall family and Brooklyn’s medical and travel expenses.
Adults 16 years old and older can purchase tickets for $20 advance sale or $25 at the door. Kids 10 years old to 15 years old can purchase tickets for $10, and children under 10 are free.
Anyone who would like to make a monetary donation to Danger Girl and the Hall family can visit their GoFundMe page here.
Each benefit and each donation helps Brooklyn’s parents give their brave three-year-old an extra boost of strength as they stand by her side.
“We need money for bills so we have a house to bring her home to, we need money to fix our front steps so she can get into the house on her own, we need money to keep our cars working, we need money to feed ourselves something other than pizza, we need money to fly our five-year-old back and forth so we can be together for the holidays and so he can have a routine still and attend school. We use the money from benefits to pay our bills, eat, clothe our children, and stay together. Our lives have changed with this diagnosis, and without the support from our community, Brooklyn wouldn’t have all the support she has,” Meghan Hall said.