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Paw Paw community gathers to support 1-year-old recently diagnosed with liver cancer

A 1-year-old from West Michigan is currently having the fight for her life as she battles multiple medical issues, one of which having reared its ugly head just this Friday, Aug. 17 – cancer. (Facebook: Rilynn's ARPKD Journey)

A 1-year-old from West Michigan is currently having the fight for her life as she battles multiple medical issues, one of which having reared its ugly head just this Friday, Aug. 17 – cancer.

On the afternoon of Sunday, Aug. 19, the Paw Paw community gathered at Erica’s Tinker Shop, located at 106 W. Michigan Ave., to help ease the emotional and financial burden the family is suffering from through a motorcycle ride event.

“She's our miracle baby. Her kidneys, both, were removed when she was a week old. So, she is about a year and a half now. We've been on dialysis for all that time, 12 hours a day,” Rilynn Payne’s grandmother, Heidi Keister, said.

The benefit ride, hosted by Rockets N Baggers, was meant to raise money to help for Rilynn’s medical bills for the kidney transplant, but the family was hit with a devastating blow just last week.

“We had transplant all scheduled for Sept. 12th, which just happens to be Rilynn’s mother's birthday, Looking very forward to that. Then last Friday, we got the news that she was diagnosed with cancer in the liver,” Keister said.

“Hearing that she was only a year and a half old and going through all this, it just tore me apart,” Travis Favorite, president of Rockets N Baggers, said. “Bikers have bigger hearts than most people. They hear something about a kid, they hear something about a family in need, bikers, they're going to show up.”

Rilynn’s family said doctors can’t schedule another transplant until she is cancer free for a whole year. It’s another setback, but they are confident she will overcome. The family said they are overwhelmed with support.

“The warriors you have come out who don't even know this family, which is what's represented here today. They don't know Rilynn, but they have a heart of compassion and love for children and families who are going through traumatic events,” Keister said.

Rilynn, along with her mother and father, are currently at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich. Going through the testing process after her most recent cancer diagnosis. To get continuous updates on Rilynn’s journey, you can visit her Facebook here and also offer financial support by purchasing candles through Rilynn Rose Candle Co. here.

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