Ventura community members gathered at Bible Fellowship Church Sunday evening in support of Daisy Love Merrick, an eight-year-old girl from Carpinteria who is currently fighting her third battle with a recurring Wilms tumor.
The fundraising events included carnival booths, a silent auction, food, and a concert. All of the proceeds were donated to Merrick, the daughter of a pastor at Reality in Santa Barbara. Merrick has been fighting cancer for the past three years, and has recently moved with her family to Israel to undergo futher treatment.
Foothill junior Blake Silva became involved because his mother is one of the many volunteers in charge of running the benefit.
“The whole idea was to bring the community together for her, to share in suffering, just as Jesus took our suffering. We will suffer and mend together,” Silva said.
Because some of the progressive treatments Merrick needs are not covered under her insurance, local churches and other organizations came together in an event called “One Love.” The purpose of the event is to raise a portion of the approximately $500,000 in uncovered costs for Merrick’s stem cell treatment.
This is one of numerous fundraisers in addition to “Paddle For Daisy,” which spanned from America to Bali, and a rummage sale in the Ventura Keys.
“I got involved because I am a Ventura teacher, and they needed someone who knew a bunch of public schools. But, the event not only brought in support from schools, but also over a dozen churches,” carnival head Natalie Morgan said.
The concert included musician Dominic Balli and the band Britney Christian.
Foothill alumnus Eileen Miramontez was among about a half dozen former Foothill students who were running booths at the benefit.
“As Christians, we are all one Body of Christ, so when one suffers, we all suffer and it’s our job to help mend,” Miramontez said.