Nov 23, 2013
06:07 AMConnecticut Today
Seymour Rallies Around Cheerleader, 16, With Brain Tumor
Nina Poeta, a 16-year-old cheerleader and gymnast, has the backing of an entire community — and beyond — as she faces a battle with cancer.
Nina, a junior at Seymour High School, was diagnosed with a brain tumor this week following a series of headaches she’d been experiencing. Doctors told the family that due to the location of the mass on Nina’s brain stem, it cannot be surgically removed. Nina is slated to undergo radiation treatment, which an oncology team is hopeful will shrink the tumor.
Almost immediately following Nina’s diagnosis, a close friend of the Poeta family set up a page on www.gofundme.com to raise funds for medical bills.
Within minutes of the site going viral Thursday, donations began pouring in from hundreds of Nina’s friends and family members, as well as from complete strangers, some from as far away as Nebraska. The family friend, Elizabeth Pisano, said the goal was to raise $25,000, but that total was surpassed in fewer than 12 hours. As of Friday evening, more than $44,000 had been raised.
Nina’s mother, Dorie, said Friday, she cannot believe the support shown for her family in this difficult time.
“We are just so overwhelmed,” Dorie Poeta said, adding that Nina’s fellow cheerleaders and their parents, in addition to their prayers and generous donations, offered to make dinner for the family every night.
Poeta said she can’t thank her best girlfriend, Pisano, enough for what she is doing.