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Community rallies for couple diagnosed with rare cancer

Geneseo, N.Y. The community has been banding around a young couple who were both diagnosed with rare types of cancer.

It also was not too long ago Carrie and Branden Geneseo welcomed a baby girl into their lives. Baby Hadley was born on June 20th.

Friends of the Merricks told 13WHAM the couple met while working at the Livingston County Sheriffs Office in 2009.

They met here and ended up getting married, said Corporal Jeremey Slocum. Theyre very outgoing, caring, love their community, and love their families.

Sheriff Thomas Dougherty of Livingston County said, Its just a young couple just starting out, and then to be dealt this hand? Its unheard of.

Just a few months before baby Hadley was born, Branden was diagnosed with cancer. Its a rare sarcoma called Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma that develops in childhood and presents later in life. Only about 50 cases are reported each year in the United States.

It was devastating for everybody here, said Corporal Slocum. It was bad when Branden found out his news, but when Carrie came down with the illness also, it just rocked the whole department and community as a whole.

Something the family never imagined happening also happened to Carrie. Carrie was diagnosed with stage four Neuroendocrine Carcinoma. This is also rare with only about 2000 cases reported each year in the U.S.

It tears up my heart, said Sheriff Dougherty. Ive told them well do whatever we can, and I think thats how every employee here feels. Well do whatever we can for them and I think thats how the community feels in general. Whatever we can do to help them on this path is what well do.

In fact, fellow deputies at the sheriffs office have donated their sick time to the Merricks for health insurance and pay roll.

Several fundraisers have also been organized including an Applebees Pancake Breakfast in Geneseo on Sunday February 16th starting at 8 a.m. Tickets are $10.

A Reception and Silent Auction has been organized at the Valley Oak Reception Center in Geneseo on Wednesday February 26th starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50.

Sheriff Dougherty said, Theyll beat it, and I believe they will, and well support them all the way through beating it.

Click Here to read more about Carrie and Branden Merricks story.
Click Here to learn more about the fundraisers.

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Washington Times