Donaldsonville celebrates Kaley's courage with a surprise party

(Source: Ramona Rodgers)
(Source: Ramona Rodgers)

DONALDSONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - There is a unique surprise party being planned in downtown Donaldsonville, however the people behind the big bash do not know the guest of honor. The guest of honor is 11-year-old Kaley Liotta from Alexandria, LA. She is fighting cancer.

There is a lot of detail that goes into planning a party for an 11-year old. It involves creativity, organization, in this case, strategy from the group of volunteer party planners.

Her aunt, Ramona Rodgers, said Kaley's relatives never saw it coming.

"She was having some pains in her back that her parents kept bringing her to a nutritionist and physical therapy and chiropractors," Rodgers explained.

Kaley was diagnosed with Leukemia last Christmas. Doctors prescribed two years of chemotherapy.

She is receiving treatment at Women's and Children's Hospital in Lafayette, La.

Rodgers said Kaley hides her battle with cancer well.

"She is a very courageous, positive, outgoing, young girl," Rodgers said.

Rodgers said she is so impressed with her niece, she decided instead of celebrating her 40th birthday she would host a fundraiser to help pay for Kaley's treatments.

"I wanted to do something out of the ordinary and different this year and I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday," Rodgers said.

Members of the First United Methodist Church of Donaldsonville took the reins. Reverend Barbara Beaumont, having just won her bout with cancer was thrilled to host the party.

"I haven't met her yet but I'm looking forward to it. We'll have some stories to share I'm sure," Beaumont said.

What began as a small event at the church has grown into a community-wide festival.

One couple sold more than 200 tickets for a jambalaya dinner, and they're not done yet. While they round up donations, the youngest of supporters are pouring their hearts into the details right down to the little girl's favorite colors, green and purple.

The party celebrating "Kaley's Courage" will be held on Saturday, August 2, 2014 in downtown Donaldsonville, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Jambalaya plate lunches will be available for $6.

Other goods will also be available for purchase.

There will also be live entertainment and a silent auction.

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