Shelbyville community holding fundraiser to support middle schooler’s fight against cancer

Two blood drives will be held Monday in honor of Kory Stewart, a middle school student who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in November. (Provided Photo/Lisa Stewart)

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A fundraising event featuring music, food, raffles and a silent auction will be held Sunday in Shelbyville for a local middle school student battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). 

 Kory Stewart, 13, was diagnosed with the treatable cancer in November and underwent numerous treatments including chemotherapy, bone marrow biopsies, a spinal tap and surgery to insert a port under his skin.

His mother, Lea Stewart, expressed gratitude for how quickly Kory’s medical team began fighting the cancer.

“He started treatment… basically the next day,” she said. “We want to thank his doctors, everyone at school [and] everyone else in the community. They always ask how he’s doing and what they can do to help.”

Five Shelbyville Middle School administrators camped out on the roof in December.

Proceeds from this weekend’s fundraiser will help cover Kory’s medical expenses.

He is currently in remission and is set to undergo a stem cell transplant procedure in the coming weeks.

Kory shrugged when asked about his upcoming treatments, showing no outward signs of fear or apprehension, and said he’s looking forward to playing his favorite video games in the hospital.

His younger sister, Madison, said she enjoys playing Xbox Live with him – or watching him play – a pastime they’ve shared since long before his cancer diagnosis threatened to turn their everyday routines upside down.

“We’re still the same people but we got closer [after he found out he had leukemia],” she explained. 

Madison said she was “really excited” for Sunday’s benefit and showed off a #KoryStrong T-shirt designed by her mother.

“We’re trying to keep things as normal as possible for him and Madison,” Lea told 24-Hour News 8. “This isn’t normal for any child, but we try to keep a schedule, stay strong and still do what they love to do.”

Her eyes filled with tears when asked where she finds the strength to continue the relentless fight against her son’s illness.

“I’m really not sure,” said Lea. “My love for my family is probably what keeps me going. I’m always going to be here, staying strong for them.”

The #KoryStrong Fundraiser will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 25, at the Eagles Lodge located at 20 E. Franklin St. in Shelbyville. There will be music, food, raffles and a silent auction. Admission is $10.

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