Charity dodgeball tournament to help brain cancer survivor

07/30/2013 9:58 AM

07/30/2013 9:59 AM

Dodgeball enthusiasts will have a chance to show their stuff Saturday while helping a cancer survivor pay medical bills.

Friends of Alli Baskerville, a local hairstylist diagnosed with brain cancer, are organizing a charity dodgeball tournament from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Brickyard, 129 N. Rock Island. The top team will win a $500 cash prize.

Organizers said they wanted to try a different kind of fundraiser and had heard dodgeball is popular at the Brickyard.

“Everybody was like, ‘Oh, I love playing dodgeball,’ ” said organizer Tonya Renner, who worked with Baskerville at Mary Kate and Company.

“Over time, Alli has become of my best friends. She’s always been there for me, so wanting to give back as a friend, I wanted to help out as much as I could.”

While she was pregnant with her second child, Baskerville started having “absolutely crippling migraines,” her husband, Austin Baskerville, said. After having multiple seizures both at home and at Via Christi on Harry, a CAT scan revealed she had a sizable brain tumor. She had surgery to remove the tumor, but it started growing again.

For Alli Baskerville, it was only a matter of time before she had to start taking radiation therapy – she just didn’t want to do it while she was pregnant.

After having another surgery – and a baby – she is going through radiation therapy and soon will begin chemotherapy.

“Obviously a cancer diagnosis at 26 years old is very hard to wrap your mind around,” Austin Baskerville said. “The support we’ve had is very, very overwhelming.”

As of Sunday, 10 teams had registered for the tournament and organizers are hoping for 30, Austin Baskerville said. Until 30 teams register, people can sign up the day of the event at the Brickyard.

“People have shown so much support, it’s humbling,” Alli Baskerville said.

People can make donations either online at www.youcaring.com/teamalli or at the event by purchasing a $15 T-shirt or a $2 bracelet.

They can also make a donation to the Alli Baskerville account at any Intrust Bank branch. The separate account is strictly for medical expenses, Austin Baskerville said.

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