Mighty MaeALTON - A vibrant and courageous little girl named Maelani has captured the hearts of the Alton community. At just five years old, Maelani's life took an unexpected turn when she was diagnosed with stage 4 Ganglioneuroblastoma on March 8, 2023.

The "Benefit for Mighty Mae" hopes to make a difference, providing Maelani with the support and resources she needs to overcome her battle with cancer and shine brighter than ever before.

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Mae's diagnosis sent shockwaves through her family, but amidst the darkness, a glimmer of hope emerged.

Many locals are familiar with Maelani's devoted mother, Kennedy Barnett, who is known for her warm heart and infectious smile.

Kennedy, who works at Sonny's Main Street in Brighton and Josephine's Tea Room in Godfrey, had to put her work on hold to be by her daughter's side during this trying time. To support the family during this challenging journey, a benefit is being organized in Maelani's honor.

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At noon on Saturday, June 10, 2023, the community will gather at Sonny's Main Street Bar and Grill for the "Benefit for Mighty Mae."

The event promises an array of activities, including a raffle, silent auction, games, drink specials, and food specials. Local businesses and individuals are encouraged to contribute silent auction items, gift certificates, or gift cards. Also, an acoustic show is sought, with the hope that an artist will generously donate their time to help raise funds for this deserving family.

Kennedy, a pillar of strength, shared her gratitude for the unwavering support they have received thus far. She said, "Her spirit hasn't dimmed once, and I will continue to keep it as so. Yes, there will be hard days ahead, and with that, we are so thankful for the amazing support team we have continuously prayed for her and our journey through this chapter in our lives."

To further extend their support, a GoFundMe page has been set up to assist Maelani and Kennedy with their mounting medical and living expenses. Every contribution, no matter the size, brings them one step closer to alleviating the financial burden and allowing them to focus solely on Maelani's well-being.

To donate and learn more about Maelani's journey, please visit the GoFundMe page at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/medical-expenses-for-maelani.

T-shirts with #MightyMae are available for sale, with all the proceeds going directly to the family. Follow this link for more information: https://mightymae.itemorder.com/shop/home/

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