The Bryant family in Conway finally agreed with the coaxing of their friends that they need help.
Eric Bryant, 42, is facing Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia for a third time in seven years, and the family has been trying for the past to years to get him to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to get an assessment and recommendation on a personalized treatment plan.
Bryant said Saturday he hopes whatever is recommended for him is able to be carried out in Conway, where he has been treated by Dr. Sue Tsuda.
"The doctors here are good, but may not be equipped for this. Dr. Tsuda recommended me for MD Anderson because it is world renown," Bryant said.
Bryant and his wife, Sheneka, 33, were at Simon Middle School Saturday, where a group of the couple’s friends were hosting a benefit lunch and silent auction.
Sheneka Bryant is a computer lab facilitator at the school, and Eric Bryant works in the shipping and receiving department of Virco.
Kathy Wyrick, a friend of the Bryants’ and one of the event’s organizers, said the family is typically behind the scenes helping others.
Wyrick and others organized Saturday’s fundraiser and established a system of online giving to help support the family financially through the loss of income due to time away from work and incoming medical bills.
The Facebook page facebook.com/FightingforEricBryant was established along with an account at razoo.com/br/causes/Fighting-for-Eric as a way to share updates and information on how to donate to the family during their time of need.
The Bryants are members of New Life Church and their children are Bianca, Javier, Kristena and Kobe.
Mark McEntire, representing Firefighters for the Cure, presented the Bryants with a handmade quilt, a monetary contribution and other donations Saturday.
The Bryants said they would like to thank their community for the thoughts and prayers, and Gary Crockett, who provided food Saturday.
Sheneka Bryant said she is working to establish a local chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which does not have a presence in Arkansas.
The Bryants said they hope to raise awareness not only for Eric Bryant’s wellbeing, but for others in the area who may also be dealing with cancers of the blood.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1236, or on Twitter @Courtneyism. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)