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Tuesday April 3rd, 2012  
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Quote of the Week
"We wanted to do something to show our love and support for Shaylee."
- Angie Marra  


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Turning Pointe Dance Studio will be holding a fundraiser dinner for local student and dancer Shaylee Zeller, 18, who has been in the Alberta Children’s Hospital for the past six months with a rare neuropathy condition affecting her gastrointestinal system.
In conjunction with its annual Festival of the Stars, Turning Pointe Dance Studio (TPDS) will be holding a homemade lasagna dinner on Saturday, April 21st in order to raise funds for local student and dancer Shaylee Zeller’s medical costs.
Since October, Zeller, a Grade 12 student at Livingstone School in Lundbreck and longtime member of TPDS, has been a patient at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, where she is being treated for a neuropathy condition affecting her gastrointestinal system.
To date, doctors have been unable to determine the exact cause of Zeller’s illness.
The 18-year-old has undergone several surgeries and was even taken to the Mayo Clinic, a world-renowned medical research facility in Rochester, Minnesota which is known for its innovative and effective treatments.
Zeller spent a week in the facility from the end of January to the beginning of February, while doctors assessed her and attempted to determine the cause of her illness as well as the full extent of damage it has caused.
She has since returned to the Children’s Hospital, where she receives round-the-clock care for her rare condition.
Angie Marra, whose daughter danced with Zeller for years, said a group comprised of individuals from TPDS and Livingstone School, as well as some of Zeller’s friends, came up with the idea to hold a fundraiser dinner in order to do what they could to help her.
“We just felt terrible that there is very little anyone can do for Shaylee,” said Marra.
“We wanted to do something to show our love and support.”
“We thought it would be quite appropriate to have the dinner between shows (at the Festival of the Stars) since Shaylee has always been so involved in dance and it’s something that she loves so much,” she said.

The dinner will be held from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m., between the two sets of the Festival of the Stars, and will include dinner, dessert and a silent auction.
Tickets for the dinner are available for $15 each through either TPDS or Livingstone School, and silent auction item donations can be dropped off at Turning Pointe Dance Studio, located at 22705 8th Avenue in Hillcrest, between 4:30 and 8:30 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday.
The funds raised will be put toward purchasing medical equipment which Zeller requires in order to be permitted to come home from the hospital and which are not covered by Alberta Health Care.
The most expensive item Zeller requires is an Intermittent Nasogastric Suction machine, which is used to dispose of excess bile which builds up in Zeller’s stomach due to her body’s inability to properly digest food, at a cost of approximately $8,000 to $10,000.
Other costs include tube feeds at a cost of roughly $1,000 per month, acupuncture treatments which run $60 to $80 per treatment, and any other possible medications which Zeller might require.
Anyone who is unable to attend the dinner but would still like to make a donation can do so by sending a cheque to:
Turning Pointe Dance Studio
c/o Shaylee Zeller
PO Box 303
Hillcrest, AB
T0K 1C0
For more information, contact Turning Pointe Dance Studio at 403-562-7730, or Tracey Hucik at Livingstone School at 403-628-3897.
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