Team Super Riley fundraiser Oct. 14

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 10, 2017

 Monteith Elementary School first-grade student Riley Slattery, holding the Courageous Kid Award she received from the Racing For Kids event in August, is undergoing hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy for a mass on her brain stem.

Monteith Elementary School first-grade student Riley Slattery, holding the Courageous Kid Award she received from the Racing For Kids event in August, is undergoing hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy for a mass on her brain stem.

Photo provided by the Team Super Riley Facebook page

DETROIT — They say there is no “I” in team, and those who have gathered around a young girl facing medical issues certainly have exemplified that sentiment.

When Riley Slattery was diagnosed earlier this year with an inoperable mass on her brain stem, it didn’t take long for those around her to become Team Super Riley in an effort to provide support for the 7-year-old and her parents, Heidi and Ryan Slattery.

Mom Heidi Slattery said that because of the location of the mass, it is pushing on the basilar artery, which supplies major blood flow to the brain. One symptom the young girl who loves to smile and play soccer has endured are seizures. Dizziness, confusion and one eye more dilated than the other also have been detected. The best treatment option for Riley Slattery is to undergo hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy.

Patients undergo treatment for 40 consecutive days and then take several weeks off, and then undergo another 40 days of treatment. Heidi Slattery said doctors have observed tumors shrink or stop growing with such treatment.

“Our goal is to get (the mass) to stop growing,” Heidi Slattery said.

Riley Slattery underwent her first 40-day treatment July 31 and just finished up a few weeks ago.

“It was great,” her mom said. “She is completely seizure-free.”

Insurance does not cover the hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy, and each round of 40 treatments costs $6,800. To help raise money for the family, local establishment Bogart’z Food & Spirits is holding a family-friendly fundraiser from 5 to 11 p.m. Oct. 14.

Dubbed “Oktoberfest,” the evening will feature face painting, entertainment by Yorg Stormrunner, Not 2 Nite, and Tosha Owens and Friends. According to a flyer for the event, there will be prizes and gifts raffled off from local businesses, including Full Lotus Yoga, Meldrum and Smith, Vintage Wine, Maryellen Dance Studio, Aretee Spa, Syke Salon, Ahee Jewelers and more. Proceeds will benefit Team Super Riley.

“Bogart’z generously offered to host a fundraiser to try to raise some of the funds that will come about,” Heidi Slattery said.

Jason Vanbiervliet is the owner of Bogart’z Food & Spirits.

“We’re doing this for Riley because she’s the sweetest little button in the world. She’s so courageous. It melts my heart,” said Vanbiervliet’s mom, Leslee Van, who has been instrumental in organizing the event. “Her grandparents are good customers of ours, and Bogart’z has done different fundraisers before. We just like giving back to the community because the community gives us so much.”

Also supporting Riley Slattery in her journey are the staff and students at Monteith Elementary School, in Grosse Pointe Woods, where the youngster is in the first grade. She has been able to keep up with her studies through an individual education plan.

“She is in the general education classroom and has a full-time aide at school,” Heidi Slattery said, adding that her daughter also receives tutoring in the resource room. “She loves school. She loves her teachers. She doesn’t want to miss.”

Bogart’z is located at 17441 Mack Ave. in Detroit. For more information on Riley Slattery and the Oktoberfest fundraiser, visit the Facebook pages of Team Super Riley or Bogart’z.