Fundraiser, GoFundMe page set up to help with medical expenses
Eligh Ingram has a rare and aggressive cancer, RMS. Donate to help with his medical expenses at his GoFundMe page "Prayers for Eligh Ingram."
Last Sunday, February 28th was Eligh Ingram’s fourth birthday, but this year there was no amount of cake or ice cream that could make everything okay.
That’s because one month-to-the-day before his birthday, Eligh was diagnosed with Stage IV Rhabdomyosarcoma, or RMS, a rare and very aggressive form of cancer. Doctors give him a one-in-three chance
of survival. Eligh’s mother, Mary, is still reeling from the news, trying her best to hold it together for her husband and two other children, and the long, hard road of chemotherapy and radiation treatments ahead of them.
“I’m hurt. I’m angry,” she said. “You’re not supposed to question God, but as a parent it’s so hard when you are faced with this. I keep asking, God, why did this happen?”
Mary said she took Eligh to the doctor last month when a knot developed on his right arm. It went away, but returned and stayed. After being sent to a specialist who mistakenly told her it was a fatty tumor, she took her son to a second doctor who caught the problem right away.
“That very same day Eligh went into surgery and took a biopsy and the doctor came back and told me my son had cancer,” she said. “My whole world stopped. Now I just pray and pray and pray.”
RMS is a cancer that begins in the muscles that attach to bones, and Eligh had to undergo a more than six-hour surgery to remove the muscle from his right arm. He also had lymph nodes removed and tested to see if the cancer spread. Those tests came back positive.
“I’m trying to hold it together, but it’s just a lot to take in as a parent,” said Mary, who has an 11-year-old daughter, Zoey, and a nine-year-old son Rusty, who was diagnosed with autism in 2012, the same year her house burned down, her father-in-law-passed away and she lost a baby to a miscarriage and was hospitalized.
“Sometimes it feels like if there wasn’t bad luck we’d have no luck.”
Now Mary, who is disabled and unable to work because of scoliosis and a cracked spine, has her husband drive her and Eligh to doctor’s appointments. Chemotherapy treatments started recently and will be every Tuesday at Scottish Rite. Radiation treatments will be every Monday through Friday at Egleston; They will be required to stay in Atlanta the entire week.
“I love Pickens,” Mary said. “I love our home, which is paid for, thank God. That was the smartest thing I did, use our insurance money to buy a house when the other one burned down and we lost everything, because I wanted a stable place for my kids. I became a mom at 16 and quit school, but found work and raised my kids and met my husband and I’m thankful for that, but we’ve only got two family members helping and we need all the prayers we can get.”
The Ingrams are holding a fundraiser on Sunday, May 22nd at the Ball Ground Community Center from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Mary is asking that anyone who would like to donate an auction item to contact her. She has also set up a GoFundMe page for Eligh, called “Prayers for Eligh Ingram.”
“I just want to let all the parents know that they need to take time and read that story or play that game,” she said, “because you don’t know how long you’re going to have with them.”
You can reach the Ingrams at 770-893-1151 or at 770-364-9621 to donate a raffle item.
Donations may be sent to Mary Ingram, 91 Eagle’s Perch Road, Ball Ground, Ga. 30107