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(Courtesy photos). New Smyrna Beach resident Dean Carr, as shown in this photo at a family outing, is staving off an almost-certain death from an aggressive brain tumor. A fundraiser dinner was held in his honor last month by Clancy's Cantina, That's Amore and and Mon DeLice restaurants at the Coronado Civic Center on the beachside, which raised $10,000 for his care. With him in this photo are from left to right, daughters, Christi Carr, 27, and Katie Carr, 24; wife, Denise Carr, and daughter, Deana Carr, 19.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Christi Carr makes no bones about what today's Christian holiday means to her and her family: "Our father being alive is our Christmas."
Asked on Christmas Eve what she most wanted today, the 27-year-old eldest of three daughters to Dean Carr responded: "I already have it. My Dad! He's the best present I could ever want."
Today is a day of love, remembrance and thankfulness for the New Smyrna Beach family, knowing full well this may very well be 50-year-old Dean Carr's final Christmas. With him on this Christmas are his wife of 30 years, Denise; their three daughters, Christi, Katie, 24; and Deanna, 19, and his parents from Georgia, James and Betty.
The 1978 Mainland High School graduate and owner of Dean's Custom Painting, was diagnosed in September with Glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of malignant brain tumor, and has little chance of living more than a year, if that.
In fact, the family thought he might not even make it to Christmas a few weeks back when he was rushed to Bert Fish Medical Center with a high fever and barely alive. He just returned home a week ago.
In order to help the family deal with mounting medical bills from these and other episodes, three beachside restaurants on Nov. 20 held the "Dean Carr Glioblastoma Benefit Dinner" In the four hours of that Saturday night event at the Coronado Civic Center, $10,000 was raised -- with $3,000 of that pledged for free medical treatments and the balance to help pay the bills.
This was in large part to several businesses within the community showing their support by donating gift certificates, gift packages, and several other items used in order to create a beneficial silent auction and raffle, said Chad Schilsky, proprietor of That's Amore restaurant on Pine Street. The other restaurants responsible fore the fundraiser were Clancy's Cantina and Mon De'Lice, both on Flagler Avenue.
Schilsky, along with his fiancee, Tamara Velencia; and friends Katie Adams and Mary Hardy, coordinated the efforts in order to make the benefit dinner a reality.
"Growing up with Katie and her entire family has made her more like a sister, than a friend," explained Valencia in talking about Katie Carr, Dean Carr's middle daughter. "I know that if I were in Katie's situation she would be there to support me in a time of need."
Valencia, a nurse at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, has been friends with middle Carr daughter, Katie, since they were 4 years old and in karate together.
Catie Adams met Katie Carr playing New Smyrna Beach rec soccer league when they were both 13 years old. Mary Hardy is a teacher for New York Teaching Fellows in New York City, having met Katie playing rec-league soccer when they were 13. All three continued their friendship through college at the University of Florida where they were roommates. During their Sophomore year, eldest sister Christi Carr joined the girls as a roommate at UCF.
Valencia said there was no hesitation to go all out for the Carr family, with childhood friendships as a backbone.
"Friends come together, join hands, and help each other face these difficult situations that life confronts us with," she said. "Friends are there to love, laugh, cry, and most of all support each other."
Christi Carr said her father was overwhelmed by the generosity of those who put the benefit together and the countless individuals and businesses that contributed even as he was unable to attend.
Daughter Christ said her brave father wanted the greater New Smyrna Beach community to know on this Christmas day: "Thanks to everyone from the bottom of my heart."
Schilsky said he personally was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support by New Smyrnans for Dean Carr and his family and hopes the community outpouring will continue: "If it were not for the people and friends within our community, none of this would have been possible. Dean Carr is a loving husband, caring father, small business owner, and in need of our help."
HOW YOU CAN HELP FURTHER
If you would like to continue to show support for Dean Carr and his family please go to the PayPal account below to make a secure donation directly to the Carr family.
FAST FACTSGlioblastoma multiforme From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Glioblastoma multiforme Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and most aggressive type of primary brain tumor in humans, involving glial cells and accounting for 52% of all parenchymal brain tumor cases and 20% of all intracranial tumors. Despite being the most prevalent form of primary brain tumor, GBMs occur in only 2–3 cases per 100,000 people in Europe and North America. According to the WHO classification of the tumors of the central nervous system, the standard name for this brain tumor is "glioblastoma"; it presents two variants: giant cell glioblastoma and gliosarcoma. Glioblastomas are also an important brain tumor of the canine, and research is ongoing to use this as a model for developing treatments in humans. Treatment can involve chemotherapy, radiation, radiosurgery, corticosteroids, antiangiogenic therapy, and surgery. Excepting the brainstem gliomas, glioblastoma has the worst prognosis of any CNS malignancy. Despite multimodality treatment consisting of open craniotomy with surgical resection of as much of the tumor as possible, followed by concurrent or sequential chemoradiotherapy, antiangiogenic therapy with bevacizumab, gamma knife radiosurgery, and symptomatic care with corticosteroids, median survival is about 14 months.