The community came together Thursday to raise money for a local family that will live at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis for the next year and a half, after 4 year old Slater Bushman was diagnosed with a rare disease.
Yellow for neuroblastoma and purple for pediatrics, the two theme colors were prevalent.
It was Team Slater night at Guanabanas in Jupiter.
His brother, mom and dad are with him in Memphis for the long haul.
“This is the only way to feel like I’m doing something,” said Slater’s grandmother, Sheryl Aschfort. Slater’s immune system is so weak, she said, it’s better if she stays in Florida for now.
Casey Lambert, a family friend, set this up.
“This is the most selfless family that there is,” she said.
One day the Bushman’s were in south Florida. The next, they’re in Memphis, leaving life here behind to save Slater.
“We want to make sure their home, their cars, their everything, are not a worry in their day to day life because what’s more important is that the four of them are together and they’re there for him,” she said.
The embodiment of hope showed up.
Karter Strand was diagnosed at two and a half years old with the same disease as Slater. He has his hair back. His boyhood back. His treatment ended in September last year. His last check in March care back clean.
His mom, Laurie, knows what the Bushman's are up against.
“They have a long, long road ahead of them. But, stay positive, find a reason to laugh everyday. That’s what got us through. Even in the bad times, without laughter and joy in your life, it’s kind of hard to pull through each day,” she said.
The Bushman’s, in a text, said they’re crying happy tears thanks to this village of strangers that came out to support them.
Casey Lambert hoped to raise $20,000 with various raffles and silent auctions. They raised over $21,000. The “Go Fund Me” is over $30,000 at last check. https://www.gofundme.com/help-heal-slater
Shane Bushman, Slater’s dad, is in a band called String Theory. Shane’s band-mates performed at Guanabanas and donated their tips to the family.