DES MOINES, Iowa -- A Des Moines family got a difficult diagnosis last month. Now, friends are rallying to show support with a relaxing way people can help.
Alice Geber is as energetic as any three-year-old. But, listen while she plays, and you can tell she knows things no young kid should.
Mom Kristin Geber asked “Alice, do you have tubes?” Alice responded, “Under my shirt.” “What do those do,” her mom asked. Alice said, “Get blood out.”
Doctors diagnosed Alice with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma on March 5. The aggressive childhood cancer is tricky to treat and is known for coming back.
“She had been complaining of a backache since the beginning of February, and we had her tested twice for a urinary tract infection," Geber said. "She just kept complaining and it got worse.”
Treatment will take about 18 months.
"She'll have five rounds of chemotherapy and then she'll have her surgery to remove at least two of the tumors, and then she'll have more chemotherapy, and then they'll do the stem cell transplant up in Minnesota," Geber said.
Friends are reaching out to support the family through a group called Alice’s Avengers. It’s hosting a cut-a-thon at Blondie’s by T. Harris Salon on Ingersoll.
"When something like this happens you just want to help," Kristen Van Hauen said. "You just want to help, and this is the best way we figured Blondie’s could do a Cut-a-thon and make it happen."
The cut-a-thon is Sunday, April 26 from 12-5 p.m. Six stylists will cut hair or even shave heads in solidarity. They just ask for a minimum $25 donation to Alice's Avengers. Food, drink and baked goods will also be for sale to raise money. The group hopes to raise $5,000 to help family with medical and travel expenses not covered by insurance.
"I don't even know if I could put to words how much this means to us," Geber said.
The Geber family is already thinking about how it can pay it forward, once Alice makes it through treatment.
"It's not exactly fair," Mrs. Geber said. "It's not fair any kid has cancer, or any kid has to go through this, but you just make the best of it I guess."
Blondie's is located at 2718 Ingersoll Avenue. You can also donate to a GoFundMe account. You can find more information by clicking here.