NEWTON GROVE — For Emily Harrison and members of her family, the past few months haven’t been easy. And the road ahead will be a rocky journey.
In May, her father Rick Harrison passed away. One month later, her brother Zachary “Bud” Harrison was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system.
“It’s difficult trying to juggle two things at once,” Emily said while speaking on behalf of the family. “It’s been very crazy and our family hasn’t received time to process everything.”
Zachary is 14 years old and plans to attend Hobbton High School as a freshman for the upcoming school year. Emily described her brother as a sweet person who likes to make funny comments.
“He loves superheroes, comic books and that type of stuff,” she said.
Emily said her brother is battling through the cancer, but there were also some tough times.
“He’s been really well, except for a few days,” she said. “He went on a psychotic break and was very confused and not himself.”
According to doctors, the cause of the episode may have been the stress of his father passing away and being diagnosed with cancer.
Emily’s mother Genia had to stop working to take care of Zachary in the hospital. With a new school year approaching, Emily is going have to find a way to look after her brother and continue her studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“I’m really nervous about it,” Emily said. “I guess I’m going to have to balance out of everything.”
Her sisters, Rachel and Camille, are also trying to balance the hardships as well. Emily said Camille’s husband Josh has been really helpful in the process.
“Zachary doesn’t have any brothers and after losing daddy, he’s been a great male figure and someone he could look up to,” Emily said.
To assist with medical bills, Emily is raising money for her brother though Red Basket, a free crowd-funding website. It allows individuals to share stories, recruit volunteers and collect money for personal emergencies or community improvement projects. Founded in 2012 and located in Omaha, Neb., Red Basket is a nonprofit organization.
“We’re just trying to get him well and healthy,” Emily said.
The goal is to raise $10,000 to help pay for medical bills from his one-month stay at Duke. Funds will also help travel expenses to and from Durham and the costs of schooling while in the hospital.
“He’s expected to receive treatment at least until Christmas,” she said. “So we’ll be going back and forth, once or twice a week.”
All funds will be directly donated to the family and no fees will be charged to donors. A tax deductible donation can be made by visiting www.RedBasket.org. Their fundraising campaign is titled “Bud’s Battle.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.