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Car show in Waynesboro to benefit area teen

May 24, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Sara Roseberry gets to have a little fun in her otherwise tragic young life next month when she becomes the focus of attention at a day-long car show in her honor by some classic Chevrolet lovers in Waynesboro.

Best of all, she said, she gets to ride in a convertible.

Sara, 13, of Tilghmanton, was diagnosed with a brain tumor two years ago. She survived operations to remove the tumor, but brain damage it caused left her partially paralyzed, her mother, Teresa Roseberry said. The right side of Sara's face is slightly contorted and she needs help walking.

The tumor was wrapped around her brain stem and affected the flow of spinal fluid, causing neurological damage, her mother said.

Sara had chemotherapy for eight weeks and suffered through 34 radiation treatments. She has therapy three times a week, including at least one trip a week to Baltimore for therapy and follow-up visits with her specialists.

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She's tutored at home by the Washington County Board of Education and is doing well in her studies, Teresa Roseberry said.

Sara began getting sick more than two years ago. At first, it was a loss of coordination doing her majorette drills. Next came unexplained vomiting and, still later, headaches. Her doctor said the vomiting was caused by stress. Her headaches were diagnosed as migraines. Drugs were prescribed but they didn't help, her mother said.

Finally, Sara was taken in for a brain scan. That's when the tumor showed up. "They wouldn't even let her leave the hospital after the test," her mother said.

"If nothing else comes from this, I would tell parents to go with their gut feelings," her mother said. "I wasn't comfortable with the doctor's diagnosis that there was nothing physically wrong with Sara, that it was just her age, but he was her doctor.

"I certainly wasn't thinking it was anything this serious. If it had been caught sooner, there would have been less damage."

She said her daughter's prognosis for recurrence of the cancer is good. Tests this week showed no signs of the disease, she said. "She's tested every three months. It was a big relief. Now we have three more months to sweat it out."

She said Sara has come a long way in her recovery. "At first, she couldn't talk or walk. Some things have come back," she said.

Sara said she misses walking the most. "I can't walk by myself yet, but that will change," she said. "I keep my spirits up. I have no choice."

She keeps in touch with friends and her five Cairn terriers - Scooter, Bubba, Sassy, Duke and Lady - keep her company. "She loves those dogs," her mother said.

On June 7, Sara gets to do something else she likes - ride in a convertible.

She was chosen beneficiary of the Appalachian Golden Classics Club's 1998 benefit Chevy show. It will be held June 7 at Waynesboro Area Senior High School. Owners of Chevrolets 1972 and older belong to the club, said its president, Robert C. Etter of Ringgold Street, Waynesboro, the club's president. He owns a 1955 coupe and a 1967 convertible.

Each year for the last eight, the club selects someone from the area who needs help with medical expenses, Etter said. This year, it was Sara.

The show usually raises around $1,100 from entrance fees, donations, profits from the concession stand and raffles. Etter expects up to 70 cars to be entered in the show. The Helping Hand Aid Association of the Lutheran Church matches what the show raises, he said.

Spectators get in free, he said.

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