WACO, Texas (KWTX) A local 6-year-old girl battling a brain tumor that doctors described as "incurable" and "inoperable" continues to beat the odds while inspiring thousands of Central Texas.
Layla Evetts, of Riesel and Joshua, has “diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma” (DIPG), a very aggressive type of tumor at the base of the brain.
When diagnosed in Feb. 2018, Layla was given only months to live but thanks to research and clinical trials, her tumor has shrunk in half.
On Saturday evening, Layla served as the honorary chairperson for the American Cancer Society's Cattle Baron's Ball in Waco making an appearance on stage that inspired hundreds in attendance to donate to help pediatric brain cancer patients like her.
Audience members raised their hands to donate anywhere between 2,500 dollars and 100 dollars to pediatric brain cancer research and received a handmade stick horse in exchange for their gift.
Layla's mom, Amanda Perry, spoke to the crowd saying without organizations like the American Cancer Society their lives would be even harder.
"So many opportunities for us, like being able to have the freedom to put her in the clinical trials we needed to put her in to get her the help she needs," Perry said.
"So if we need to move to Seattle, live in Houston. If we need to move anywhere to get her treatment, foundations like the ACS and people like you that have really big hearts for people give us the opportunity to be able to do that."
Perry's plea led to a potentially record-breaking number of donations given for the portion of the program totaling 22,000 dollars.
Layla's dad, Corey Evetts, also appeared on stage with his daughter and thanked the crowd for all the support his family has received since the diagnosis.
"After going through this with Layla, we have a great desire to spread her story and educate people as much as we can about childhood cancer and more specifically pediatric brain cancer. "
"We are honored to be a part of this event."
The total amount of money raised at the event has not yet been announced.