Saturday’s benefit for ailing Willow Marie Marka and the 1-month-old’s parents, Bill and Cassie (Knopp) Marka of Grand Forks, includes a silent auction with a number of appealing items, including tickets to fun.
It’s at the East Grand Forks (Minn.) American Legion.
Silent auction items include:
* WE Fest tickets.
* Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks baseball tickets.
Numerous other silent auction items include a framed autographed photo of Minnesota Vikings MVP running back Adrian Peterson.
Saturday’s Marka family benefit activities begin at 3 p.m. with the silent auction and bake sale, and kick into high gear at 4 p.m. with the start of the loaded baked potato feed. A free-will offering is requested. The feed ends at 7 p.m.; the silent auction and bake sale conclude at 8 p.m.
LATEST ON WILLOW’S PLIGHT
Willow, born Sept. 13 at the Mayo Clinic complex with a rare, life-threatening congenital heart condition, remains in Rochester, Minn., with parents Bill and Cassie, formerly of Owatonna, Minn. Cassie is an East Grand Forks native.
All proceeds — 100 percent — will help the Markas with medical and related expenses resulting from Willow’s health challenge.
The tiny Willow had open heart surgery Sept. 16 to help her survive hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital condition that left the left ventricle of her heart severely underdeveloped. Little Willow needs at least two more open-heart surgeries — and, very possibly at some point later, a heart transplant, her medical team has informed the Markas.
Already since the surgery, the infant has had to battle back from other threats to her life: a collapsed lung, pneumonia and sepsis. Now, she faces the possibility of surgery to insert a gastrostomy tube (also called a G-tube) into her abdomen to provide nutrition directly to her stomach. She failed a swallow test earlier this week, and a new analysis shows that her left vocal cord is paralyzed.
The benefit is organized by Team Willow, friends and family members on Willow’s happy heart team. NDAD, the longtime North Dakota charitable nonprofit, is serving as both a fundraiser sponsor and the caretaker of benefit funds. It’s part of NDAD’s free Community Fundraiser program.
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP
You’re welcome to attend Saturday’s Marka family benefit at the Legion hall, 1009 Central Ave. N.W. in East Grand Forks. If you can’t make it, there are others ways to help:
• Share this news on social media networks, including your Facebook page.
• Go online at http://www.NDAD.org/fundraisers.asp and click the “Give Online” button that accompanies an introductory article about Willow Marka. Use your credit card to donate to the Willow Marka Fund.
• Mail your donation to: NDAD, c/o Willow Marka Fundraiser, 2660 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND 58201. Please make checks payable to: NDAD / Willow Marka family.
• Drop off your donation in person at NDAD’s Grand Forks office — hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays — or its other offices in Fargo, Minot, or Williston. You can find the addresses at the http://www.ndad.org/ website; call those sites for office hours, which vary.
NDAD’s Community Fundraiser program helps individuals with major health challenges and their families each year. Learn how the program may be able to help you aid another person who is dealing with a disability or serious health challenge. Call (800) 532-NDAD (-6323) for details.