‘I needed to do something’: Family organizes fundraiser for 9-year-old Grass Valley girl’s brain surgery
Carrie Mitchum said she felt she had to do something to help after finding out that her cousin’s 9-year-old daughter, Clementine, has a brain tumor and has been scheduled for surgery Feb. 22.
Five days ago, Mitchum set up a GoFundMe fundraiser titled “Help fight Clementine’s tumor.”
The fundraiser is intended to help Grass Valley resident Cori Azbill, who is Mitchum’s cousin and Clementine’s mother, pay for medical expenses and obtain reliable transportation to UC Davis Children’s Hospital, where Clementine will undergo surgery and face an expected two-week recovery.
“I couldn’t be the person who drives her to and from … and I couldn’t be there to make meals, just little things that you would do if you were local,” said Mitchum, who lives in Santa Barbara.
“So I felt like I needed to do something to help attack the big picture of things.”
Mitchum said the discovery of Clementine’s tumor came after a period of headaches, initially assumed by the family to be from too much computer screen time, led to a pediatrician consultation for sinus issues, and then to an optometrist.
“During her examination, (the optometrist) noticed that one of Clem’s eyes wasn’t responding to the light properly … and it was enough to concern her that she recommended an MRI,” said Mitchum.
The MRI scan took place around two weeks ago, and the family was notified shortly afterward that it showed a 2-centimeter tumor in Clementine’s brain, which they promptly scheduled a surgery to remove.
Mitchum said doctors opted not to perform a biopsy due to the associated risk relative to the surgery itself, so it will not be known until after the surgery whether the tumor is malignant — a factor she said weighs on the family as they wait.
However, she said the family is working to maintain high spirits for Clementine and her twin sister, Juniper.
“She still has her headaches … but she’s, for the most part, a happy little 9-year-old girl,” she said.
She emphasized that it is important to her to maintain full transparency with the fundraiser page, and she plans on posting receipts of the expenses there.
As of Tuesday evening, over 100 people had donated to the fundraiser, raising over $6,000 out of the fundraiser’s $10,000 goal.
“Every single (donation), big or small, is so touching,” said Mitchum.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To donate to the GoFundMe:
To send cards:
Clementine and Juniper
PO Box 63
Nevada City, CA 95959
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