Rain may have put a damper on the “Team Reed Day” event last Thursday in Corbin, but it did not dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd that turned out at the Corbin Middle School gym in support of six-year-old Reed Elliott, whose cancer is officially in remission.
Throughout the event, several local pastors offered prayers for Reed and his family as they await a diagnosis on four spots found in Reed during a recent examination.
“Thank you for Reed and the beacon of shining light he is to his school, community and church,” one of the pastors said as part of his prayers.
Reed and his parents, Larietta and Bill, walked around the gym to share a moment with each of the supporters.
“We have been overwhelmed with the support we have received thoughout Reed’s life from the community,” Larietta Elliott said.
The supporters purchased t-shirts denoting July 6 as “Team Reed Day” in Corbin.
Other donations were dropped into collection buckets.
Heather Barrineau, a fellow Kiwanian, who helped organize the event, said the Elliotts have declined to accept the donations, asking that they be given to Ronald McDonald House, the Kentucky Organ Donation Foundation and Childhood Cancer Awareness Foundation.
Though the rain still had not let up, those in attendance braved the wet weather to go outside and release balloons in celebration of Reed’s day.
Reed suffered complications during birth that damaged his kidneys. As a result, when he was two years old, he received a kidney from his father and had been taking anti-rejection medication.
Barrineau said one of the potential side effects of the medication was that it might cause cancer.
“Six to eight months ago, they took Reed for what they thought was going to be a normal checkup,” Barrineau said. “They found his entire abdomen and chest cavity filled with cancer.”
Reed stopped the anti-rejection medication and began three months of chemotherapy at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
“So far, all tests are showing that he is not rejecting the kidney,” Barrineau said.
While the new spots have been determined not to be cancerous, she said kidney and lung biopsies have been performed to determine the cause.
“Doctors are uncertain what the spots are,” Barrineau said.
More information is available on Facebook at Team Reed.
“We thank the Lord for his faithfulness,” Larietta Elliott said during the event. “We know He has a special plan for Reed’s life.”