By Sue Moore
“Cambri Dorko is a sweet little girl and is fighting for her life. She’s such a little fighter and still full of energy,” said Jennifer Taylor, her third grade teacher at Sunset Lake Elementary. Taylor has only seen Cambri in the classroom for ten days this year. That’s because the child was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma cancer in 2012 when she was only four years old and a begindergarten student at Sunset.
“We all want to help her, so a benefit concert has been planned for May 12, at 7 p.m. at the Vicksburg Performing Arts Center (PAC). Many of the teachers and musical artists in the school have come together to plan this concert and perform free of charge. We want to help cover this family’s expenses which have been monumental,” Taylor said. She is being assisted by Alicia Zager, Cambri’s second grade teacher at Sunset, Ben Rosier the high school jazz band leader; Dusty Morris, the choir director; Patty Heintzelman, the elementary and middle school choir teacher; and local performers Benjammin and Analisa, who have kids in the Vicksburg school system.
“The PAC could hold 800 people and we expect it to be packed to the rafters,” Taylor said. “The school staff and administrators have been on this from the start. We’ve communicated through Facebook, and the many friends this child has made at the hospital. In fact, a contingent of her doctors and nurses will be coming with her to the concert. She will get a few days off from chemotherapy treatments to come with her mother, Shannon, to feel the love we all have for her and cheer her on in her fight to survive this terrible disease that has brutal side effects from the treatment.”
A team of Stryker employees heard about Cambri’s illness and created a beautiful Christmas for her and her mother. They too are helping with the concert preparations, Taylor said.
Performers include the VHS Jazz band, Hannah and Emily Tatay from the VHS choir and former students of Taylor’s, Benjammin and Analisa, and the fourth and fifth grade choir from Sunset. A video for Cambri is being prepared by Troy Smith, the high school film and video teacher, and his students. The cost is $5 per person at the door and $20 per family, or a donation in Cambri’s name.