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Overcoming a rare brain condition, Paducah teenager gives back

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The Dancin' Divas hosted their 5th Annual Fundraising Gala to benefit Norton Children's Hospital on Saturday, November 2 at Walker Hall Events Center with presenting sponsor Atmos Energy. This annual event brings together dance troupes from across the area to provide entertainment to the sold out crowd of attendees. A total of $16,250 was raised to benefit Norton Children's Hospital.

Norton Children's Hospital representatives Dana Matukas, Development and Marketing Coordinator for the Western KY Region, and Dr. Tom Yao, Neurosurgeon, were in attendance to recognize Jade Cain with the Youth in Leadership Award for her advocacy and awareness efforts. Kelly Davis, event coordinator and founder of the Dancin' Divas troupe said "Five years ago we decided to do more for our community through our love of dance. We selected Norton Children's Hospital based on the connection we had with them through one of our original troupe members Desiree Fisher and her daughter Jade."

Jade was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder in 2012 at the age of 11. Following surgery she received an experimental treatment at Norton Children's Hospital to help eliminate radiation necrosis, where the brain tissue around the targeted lesion becomes injured and dies causing severe headaches, nausea and vomiting, cognitive problems and neural dysfunction. Thanks to the successful outcome, a full scale clinical trial has been launched to aid other children facing the same diagnosis. Fully recovered and living a healthy life, Jade was a featured dancer in the 2016 Dancin' Divas show, is a graduate of McCracken County High School and has plans to attend West Kentucky Community and Technical College in the spring.

The event has grown over the past five years and combined the troupe has donated more than $53,000 to Norton Children's Hospital in Jade's honor. Davis said, "Without the outstanding doctors at Norton Children's Hospital willing to go the extra mile to find new treatments, Jade would not be here with us today. We are happy to be a part of the research that is saving the lives of more children like Jade."

Sponsors of the event include presenting sponsor Atmos Energy; Gold Sponsors - Darling Ingredients, D's Garage Door Service, Kiwanis Club of Paducah, Soirees Events and Walker Hall Event Center; Silver Sponsors - Bass Maintenance, C-Plant Federal Credit Union, Barn Management Group, Jack Marshall Foods DBA Kentucky Fried Chicken and Kentucky Farm Bureau Agent Justin Puckett; Bronze Sponsors - Advanced Alarm Systems, Biggs Insurance, Cox Lawn Care, Damron Appliance & TV, Giving Tree Boutique, Heartland Capital, Dr. Nathan Bowles - Heine, Heine & Bowles Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Baird - Rudolph Brothers Wealth Advisors, Jeffery Ward, PA-C, Life Care Center of LaCenter, Majestic Pizza Steak House, MAP Enterprises, Stor-Mor Portable Buildings, Todd & Becky Morris, United Military Travel and Unlimited Graphics.

For more than a century, Norton Children's Hospital and its predecessor hospitals have cared for the children of Kentucky and Southern Indiana without regard to their families' ability to pay. They are Kentucky's only full-service, free-standing pediatric care facility dedicated exclusively to caring for children. Their medical facilities currently serve more than 170,000 patients each year with around 8,000 of those being from the Western Kentucky region.

For more information or to participate in the 2020 event contact Dancin' Divas Founder Kelly Davis at 270-210-1044.

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