Bowl for Alli helps raise money for young girl's cancer treatment

October 01, 2011|By DON AINES |
  • Anna Pinieski, 4, watches her ball rolling down the lane at Turner's Dual Lanes during Bowl for Alli, a fundraiser for her sister. Alli Pinieski has been diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma.
By Chris Tilley/Staff Photographer

It's been a tough year for Alli Pinieski, but Linda Weaver said her 3-year-old granddaughter, who is battling a rare form of cancer, is a tough kid.

Alli was at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore Saturday, where she has been since July. Her parents, Zach and Lindsay, were there, too, but many other friends, family and caring strangers were at Turner's Dual Lanes for Bowl for Alli to raise money to help pay for her treatment.

"It's something that you hear about and read about, but you just can't imagine the horror of it," Weaver said of the ordeal the family has faced. "But thank God it's starting to turn around."

Alli's other grandmother, Donna Ballar, said her granddaughter had just gotten out of the pediatric intensive care unit, where she spent seven weeks recovering from bacterial meningitis.

The meningitis, which Alli contracted after chemotherapy for Burkitt's lymphoma, caused her to temporarily lose her sight, but she has regained it, Weaver said.

Michelle Murray, Alli's aunt, organized Saturday's event, selling wristbands and T-shirts and taking donations. The owners of Turner's donated the space and made a monetary contribution as well, she said.

There have been other events, including a lemonade stand set up by a group of girls that raised about $5,000 in August. Murray said a fundraiser held at Next Dimensions restaurant raised more than $13,000.

"It reassures you that there are wonderful, wonderful people in the world," Weaver said.

It is money the family needs and for which they are very grateful, Murray said.

Zach Pinieski, who was diagnosed with leukemia last year, was laid off shortly before Alli became sick, and Lindsay Pinieski left her teaching job to care for their daughter, Weaver said.

A Ride for Alli is scheduled for today, with registration at 11 a.m. and the ride beginning at noon at the Improved Order of Red Men Conococheague Tribe 84 in Williamsport, said Heather Dillow, organizer of that event. The cost is $20 per person, or $30 per couple, and it will be followed by a pig roast at the tribe's headquarters on Lappans Road.

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