05/13/07 — Dinner to benefit Princeton girl undergoing rare surgery

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Dinner to benefit Princeton girl undergoing rare surgery

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on May 13, 2007 2:00 AM

PRINCETON -- Lara's Worley's mother thought she was playing when she fell to the floor two years ago, her arm over her eyes. Neva Worley tried to move her daughter's arm. It wouldn't budge and Lara was foaming at the mouth.

Doctors diagnosed the 16-year-old Princeton School sophomore with epilepsy, and in June, she heads for the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio to undergo a rare type of brain surgery. Doctors at the University of North Carolina Medical Center at Chapel Hill said she needs the procedure is only done at two hospitals in the country -- one in Florida and one in Ohio. Lara and her family chose Ohio.

Friends are holding a benefit dinner May 19 to help defray medical expenses for the surgery.

Her mother said she has no idea how much the surgery is going to cost, but she knows it will be a lot.

Doctors have controlled the seizures to the point where they're down to one a week. But they still affect her life.

Her mother, an elementary school teacher, and whenever Lara is finished with her classes, she spends time with her mother in her classroom until it's time to go home. Despite her physical problems, she is still doing well in school and is a member of the Beta Club.

Lara said she has lost some friends because of the onset of the seizures. But others have stuck with her and have learned what to do if a seizure happens.

The seizures last about a minute, two at the most. One friend stays with her while another goes to get her mother.

Lara and her family are hoping things change a lot after the surgery. They leave June 9 for Ohio. The family will stay at the Ronald McDonald House a couple of blocks from the hospital during their stay.

The surgery will be June 13 or 14, and Lara will spend about a day in intensive care. She should be able to come home within a week.

The benefit dinner will be held from 4 until 7 p.m. on May 19 at the Princeton United Methodist Church on the corner of Center and First streets.

Spaghetti will be the fare, with $6 plates available for eat-in or take-out. For information call 936-0468 or 427-6711.

Friends have also set up an account for donations to be sent to the Lara Worley Fund, c/o First Citizens Bank, P.O. Box 1016, Princeton, N.C. 27569-1016.

There also will be a silent auction with items like sport memorabilia, gift cards, flower arrangements, jewelry and baskets.

Those who come to dinner and wish to can sign a quilt, which Lara will take with her to Ohio.