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Saturday benefit for Northridge student recovering from cancer

Months since surgery and diagnosis have been difficult.


Posted on March 7, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on March 7, 2013 at 6:03 p.m.

MIDDLEBURY — A benefit will be held Saturday, March 9, at the Middlebury American Legion for Northridge Middle School student Will Mishler.

Will was diagnosed with ganglioneuroblastoma, a type of cancer, in September 2012 and has been on the road to recovery since.

It’s been a tough several months for Will since his surgery on Sept. 21. Since that time, he’s been diagnosed with Type I diabetes and has also battled anemia, a blood clot in his arm and hypertension on top of the Horner’s Syndrome he developed as a result of his surgery. He has seen many doctors and continues to undergo a litany of tests and scans.

On Monday, March 11, Will must go to the Elkhart Clinic for tests to determine whether or not the cancer has returned or spread. His regularly scheduled visit was moved up by about six weeks because recent tests found that his lymph nodes are enlarged on the same side of his body that his tumor was removed from.

Will’s mother, Amy Mishler, said the family will likely have the results of those tests by Wednesday, March 13.

The series of disorders, tests and scans, coupled with the therapy he’s undergone, have taken their toll on the Northridge eighth-grader. “Will has been exhausted; he’s tired all the time,” Amy Mishler said.

Amy Mishler, a nurse currently on leave because of Will’s condition and transportation needs to his appointments, knows her son faces a long road. “I know how cancer works,” she said. “I’m very on-alert and on stand-by and non-trusting of that disease.”

“We’re trying to make things as normal as possible in our life, but it’s hard,” she added.

Will returned to school in January, attending for half-days, but the nature of his ailments still means he misses a lot of school. Between visits to all his doctors, fatigue and procedures, consistent attendance has been a struggle. Amy Mishler remarked, however, that the school has been very helpful throughout Will’s ordeal.

Though he has his down days, Amy Mishler said her son manages to keep a relatively positive outlook. “He has a very good faith,” she said, adding he has put his trust in God to help him through the different difficulties he faces every day.

Saturday’s fundraiser will include a meal served from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. After the meal, there will be a dance with live music until 11 p.m.

Plans include a silent auction to help the Mishler family with the cost of battling Will’s disease. T-shirts and bracelets featuring the family’s motto, “Willpower,” will also be available to purchase.

Attendance at the benefit is restricted to people age 21 years and older because alcohol will be served. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $20, which covers the meal and entertainment.

The Middlebury American Legion is at 103 York Drive. For more information contact Michelle Vilmure at 536-2241 or Kelli Widmeyer at 612-1287.

For those that can’t attend but still wish to contribute, the Will Mishler Cancer Fund has been set up at Lake City Bank.



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