Pender County rallies around second grader fighting aggressive brain tumor

Updated: Oct. 28, 2019 at 7:28 PM EDT
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HAMPSTEAD, N.C. (WECT) - The middle school football match up between the Topsail Pirates and Surf City Sharks is always a big rivalry game, but this year the teams came together for a special cause.

Players and parents on both sides of the game were there to support Deliah Sitorius, a second grader fighting a rare and aggressive cancerous brain tumor, which requires her to visit Chapel Hill weekly for chemotherapy treatment.

However, like many pediatric cancer patients in the United States, Deliah has been affected by the shortage of vincristine — the medication used to fight many forms of pediatric cancer for which there is no substitute.

After having one of her treatment appointments canceled because of the shortage, Deliah was able to go back for a round last week, but the future of her treatment plan is uncertain.

Thank you Surf City Middle & Topsail Middle School football teams and cheerleaders for honoring Deliah tonight at their football game! She absolutely loved it! 💛

Posted by DeliahBrave on Monday, October 28, 2019

That didn’t stop her from being on the sidelines at the game Monday, where she was recognized by the schools.

In addition to a chance to give Deliah something else to think about other than treatments, volunteers were selling #DeliahBrave bracelets to benefit the family.

“We know a family is in need right now,” said family-friend and volunteer Gemma Ammiott, “and what we’re trying to do is trying to help any added expenses that they are having with going for treatment back-and-forth to Chapel Hill, you know, the amount of parking, staying, food when you travel and for Delia to get her treatments, and we don’t know what the future is going to hold and what needs they’re going to have so we are trying to give them some funds to make things just a little easier.”

The group has also been selling t-shirts in Deliah’s favorite color, teal.

Deliah’s parents Ashley and Alex Sitorius said it means a lot to have the support of the community during a difficult time made even more complicated by a national medication shortage.

“Everybody has been super supportful [sic] of our family and just making sure Delia, does she need anything, does she want anything, just really, you know, reaching out and asking us if they can help in anyway possible, has truly been an amazing process,” Alex Sitorius said.

Ammiott said they hope to keep the momentum going.

“In the future we hope to do other activities, you know just to get her name out there and show her that her community is supporting her,” she said. “It’s not just to sell the bracelets today, it’s her seeing how everybody’s here rooting for her.”

The bracelets are available at locations throughout Pender County.

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