LAWTON, Okla._Lots of food, a live auction, and great music brought the Lawton community together to help a little girl in need Saturday.
Hundreds of people filled the VFW raising thousands of dollars for Maddy Hunt. Maddy is battling leukemia for the second time, and the medical costs are beginning to pile up for her family. That's why community leaders came together to put on Saturday's fundraiser.
Saturday it was made clear that Maddy's spirit and smiling face continue to captivate the hearts of everyone she meets. Event organizers said coming out and showing their support was the least they could do to support Maddy's courageous fight for the second time.
"It is harder the second time because you kind of know what to expect, and you know it is going to be more intense chemo then the last time," said Maddy's mom Melissa Hunt.
Maddy Hunt's family received the news 3 months ago that they hoped they wouldn't hear again. Just thirteen months after Maddy completed her first battle with leukemia, her family learned she would have to fight for her life again when the leukemia returned.
"It was a little bit of shock because it is the first year when they usually relapse if they are going to. And we had gotten past that point, and we were letting our guard down a little bit," said Melissa Hunt.
Maddy's is now back in remission, and her family is hopeful for the future.
"We have faith that she will be healed and cured of this forever, and that we won't have to do this again. But she is an amazing fighter, and she can do anything," said Melissa Hunt.
Unfortunately, Maddy isn't in the clear just yet. She will have to continue treatment for the next two and a half years, and with that treatment comes lots of medical and travel costs. That's why community leaders put together Saturday's event with the hope of helping Maddy and her family win their fight.
"I am just thankful that the community listened, came out to give their hard-earned money, and opened up their hearts to this little girl that needs our help," said one of the event coordinators Pamela Pratz.
And the generosity shared at Saturday's event brought Maddy's mom Melissa to tears.
"It helps us so much by letting us spend time with her, and that is the most valuable gift anyone can give me is to have time with her," said Melissa Hunt.
And to Maddy Saturday's event meant a lot.
"It's just been fun, and I really do like this because it is going into my fund for my medicine and all that stuff," said Maddy Hunt.
And Saturday Maddy even got an unexpected surprise, tickets to see her favorite singer, Taylor Swift, in concert.
"I am just really happy that I have that. I was planning on going in May, but that is kind of when we found out that I had cancer again. But now I get to go," said Maddy Hunt.
The Hunt family said they will never be able to fully express how much Saturday's event meant to them. Most of all, they are happy Maddy got an entire day to celebrate her courage and spirit.
"She is the one that has taught me so much through this. She could go through anything. She is just amazing about all the pokes and prods and everything that she has to do. She just bounces back, and is always making everybody else laugh. She just has this amazing spirit about her. She just touches everyone that she meets," said Melissa Hunt.
Thousands of dollars were raised at Saturday's event, and all the funds will be going to help the family cover its medical and travel costs.