Monster Bash helps cancer patients

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Leslie Parnell remembers being greeted at reception with a question when she arrived at CARTI for daily breast cancer treatments.

“They were always like, ‘How was your car trip?’” She said.

Parnell, who underwent a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, was perplexed as the drive from his home only lasted about 15 minutes.

“I didn’t realize what such a huge percentage of other cancer patients have to go through to get their treatments,” said Parnell, senior vice president of cash management and strategic development at Simmons Bank. . “They don’t live here, and a lot of them have to drive two hours, round trip. A lot have to drive three, four, or five hours. And I mean, there were days when I could barely get home. home before I get sick and I’m 15 minutes away. “

This awareness underscores the need for a place like Home for Healing, which provides low cost accommodation for parents of babies who are in the neonatal intensive care unit and cancer patients and their caregivers.

“It’s called Home for Healing for a reason. It feels like home. It’s warm, it’s inviting,” says Parnell, who, along with her family, has created works of art. art to put on certain walls in the bedroom. “The furniture is comfortable, the lighting is soft.”

Parnell got involved with Home for Healing because of her own cancer journey. “I just felt like this experience was really bigger than me,” she says. “I wanted to be able to find a way to give back and help raise more awareness, and obviously with awareness comes fundraising.”

Monster Bash, which bills itself as Little Rock’s biggest Halloween costume fundraiser – at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at Venue at Westwind in North Little Rock – is expected to increase operating costs by nearly a third of Home for Healing.

Tickets cost between $ 50 and $ 100 each; VIP tickets include spooky drinks and a glowing mug plus special seats. Virtual ticket holders can pick up a purse filled with a signature drink, mug, and koozie.

The event will have an in-person and a virtual option, and participants are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative covid-19 test within 10 days of the event, and they will be required to wear a mask except when eat or drink.

Supporters can start browsing the silent online auction on October 26. The live auction begins at 9 p.m. on October 29. The silent auction ends at 10 p.m. on October 29.

Stuart Cobb will be honored with a Home for Healing Impact Award at the event. There will be music from the band Just Sayin ‘, and a costume contest for individuals and groups.

“It should be a lot of fun,” Parnell said of the costume contest. “Costumes aren’t mandatory, they’re just encouraged because it’s fun.”

In recent years, before she moved from Chicago to Little Rock, Parnell and her husband would often spend Halloween at a formal black-tie event.

“It was always something fun that we did with our friends,” she says. “When we moved here, we always focused on our friends. Now that we have our son, we also do things with his friends and their families.”

She didn’t choose a costume for herself and wants others to realize that they don’t have to be intimidated by the challenge of finding one.

“There are so many easy ways to do it. You don’t have to do everything. You don’t need to have a wig, you don’t need makeup, you don’t have a great costume. explosion, “she said.” You can be Michael J. Fox, from ‘Back to the Future’. It’s jeans and a vest. You could be a doctor or a nurse and that would be a nice way to thank the doctors and nurses who gave so much for us last year. “

Parnell predicts that many people will choose costumes this year because of the weather when they did not have this opportunity.

“I think people are looking for a way to come together with their community and celebrate such a great organization,” she says.

Home for Healing provides a place for people in need for just $ 10 a night, she points out, and there is financial help for people who can’t afford it. This rate is far less than the cost of a hotel stay, and the level of care provided to the people who stay is unlike anything a hotel could offer.

Resources are made available to guests, including information on childcare for new parents, legal and financial support, and counseling services for survivors – ranging from pet therapy and art therapy to gardening.

Executive Director Kristin Trulock makes sure that all the amenities that guests might need upon arrival at Home for Healing are available, Parnell said.

“If people show up with just the clothes on, there are options. We have a game plan to support the people who stay at home,” Parnell said. “When you step in you know you are entering a unique world with a whole different level of support.”

More information on the Monster Bash is available at homeforhealing. org / monster-bash /.

Leslie Parnell is about to get spooky for a cause at Monster Bash, an October 29 Halloween party for Home for Healing. Parnell, who chairs the event, is a cancer survivor who understands the need for low-cost accommodation for parents of babies who are in the neonatal intensive care unit and for cancer patients and their caregivers. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette / Cary Jenkins)


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