Fundraiser planned for Seabeck teen battling cancer

A fundraiser has been planned for a Seabeck teen scheduled for surgery March 29 to reduce the pain she is experiencing from a cancerous tumor growing in her spinal cord.

Kitsap Harbor Tours and Tillicum Village have joined to offer a special fundraising cruise March 26 focused on helping Rian Anderson, 19, and her mother Melinda pay for part of the surgery and recovery.

The evening starts at 4:30 p.m. at the Bremerton Marina. The historic Carlise II will leave the marina and head to Blake Island’s Tillicum Village for the traditional salmon bake meal and Northwest Coast Native American dance show. Wine, beer, softdrinks and additional items will be served onboard. Tickets are $125 and space is limited to 100 people.

The goal is to raise at least $10,000 for Anderson, whose medical insurance will cover 80 percent of the cost. A neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore who specializes in spinal cord astrocytoma, the rare form of cancer Anderson was diagnosed with at 13 years old, agreed to operate to help reduce the pain Anderson receives from a tumor intertwined with her spinal cord.

Anderson and her mother had originally planned to fly to Maryland for the surgery in April, but have since opted to have the surgery done in Seattle by Anderson’s neurosurgeon. The Johns Hopkins surgeon will consult on the procedure.

For more information about the event, to donate money or to purchase tickets contact Rick Leenstra, Jr., 360-204-0300, or e-mail

One thought on “Fundraiser planned for Seabeck teen battling cancer

  1. Hi there. I am rian’s mom. And I just wanted to say what an amazing girl Rian really is. She’s been fighting this cancer for nearly six years. Not right for a nineteen year old girl. She tells me some days that she feels worthless, like she’s all alone, she wants to be working, have kids someday and maybe even drive a car. I keep reminding her that if she fights hard enough, anything can happen. That’s why we are having this surgery. Since Rian’s last surgery in 05′, the doctors told us that the rest of the tumor was inoperable. We should be glad that she was doing as good as she was, which was not very good. I lived with that for awhile, until the pain became unbearable. Then I went hunting. Hunting for the person that would cure my daughter. Well, obviously I didn’t find a cure but I did find help. Now rain will get the surgery she needs to releive some of the pain she is in right now. Luckily through a long series of events, I wont get into that her, but we found our answer right here, in Seattle at UW medicine. It was a journey through Maryland that brought us back here, close to home. Rian will be having surgery on the 28th, only two days after this cruise. We will leave Sunday night and begin the new chapter of our journey. I invite you alto ride along with us as we fight the fight for my daughters life. CARINGBRIDGE.ORG/VISIT/RIANANDERSON

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