Vicky Hall poker run
Registration will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at Smiley Elementary School. There will be a 50/50 drawing and a barbecue dinner at the final stop of the run, which is at the Long County Wildlife Festival Grounds.
For more information, call Billy Strickland at 912-977-2222 or Tina McFann at 912-294-2533.
Last summer, 4-year-old Vicky Hall couldn’t wait for the school year to roll around. She wanted to start preschool, and the ringing of that first bell couldn’t get here soon enough.
But back in February, Vicky started coughing and running a fever. The flu she had just wouldn’t go away, so her mother, Monika, decided to take her to the doctor.
The doctor checked Vicky and ran some routine blood tests to see if he could find out what was causing the Long County girl to remain sick.
The doctor discovered bad news in those blood tests — Vicky had leukemia.
“I was numb. It was like, this really can’t be happening,” Monika Hall said. “I’m still numb
Vicky’s father, Long County Deputy Mark Hall, said what he felt is something he can’t really explain.
“You’re in shock. You hear stories about people getting cancer — even occasionally a child getting it — but when it’s your own child, it’s different,” he said. “It’s a feeling you just can’t explain.”
Vicky was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer in which the white blood cells overproduce in the bone marrow and can spread to other organs in the body.
She immediately was admitted at the hospital and began a rigid schedule of chemotherapy. Her mother said the schedule is usually every 10 days, but it also has been for a period of 10 consecutive days, too.
“She’s been handling it pretty well. Her hair (falling out) bothers her, and she really wanted to go to preschool, but overall she’s doing well with it and feels good most of the time,” her father said.
Monika Hall said Vicky must endure the chemotherapy for a three-year period, and she still has 30 months to go. But the mother also said that according to the reports from the doctor, if things continue to go as they are now, Vicky could be cured once she completes the regiment.
“Fortunately, they caught it before it spread into her nervous system, and so with the chemo, she will make a complete recovery,” Monika Hall said.
Vicky requires her mother’s care 24 hours a day, so Monika Hall quit her job to be there for her daughter. This put a strain on the family’s finances, and the costs of treatment also cause a financial burden.
Many people in the Long County community became aware of Vicky’s illness, and the strains it puts on the family, and wanted to do something to help.
The Long County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Craig Nobles held a fish fry to raise money. Brooke Guyette set up donation drop boxes all over the area, and the Ludowici/Long County Fire Department Voluntary Auxiliary conducted a blood drive in Vicky’s honor.
In addition, members of the community organized a poker run for Saturday.
“Everybody has been wonderful,” Mark Hall said. “The sheriff’s department; the auxiliary; Monika’s mom, Judy (Brewer) — she’s done so much; Brooke, Craig and now Tina (McFann), Walt (Pelton) and Billy (Strickland) are doing the poker run. … We just can’t thank everyone enough.”
Monika Hall said that even though her daughter is sick, Vicky still looks forward to going to school. If everything goes as planned, she may be able to attend in the near future.
If you ask Vicky, she will tell you she can’t wait, so don’t be too surprised to see this little girl running around a playground sometime soon.