LAYTON -- Faye Meldrum turned 4 years old Thursday and celebrated with her family in her hospital room in Houston. On Saturday, hundreds of family members, friends and people who may not even know Faye or the Meldrum family will have their own kind of a celebration here.
That celebration -- in the form of a fundraiser -- will include a carnival, 5K fun run, yard sale and silent auction. The fundraiser lasts from 7 a.m. to noon, with the 5K beginning at 8 a.m. at North Layton Junior High School.
Faye is battling acute myeloid leukemia, which doctors diagnosed April 11. It was the reason Faye often complained that her legs hurt.
The complaints first came around Christmas, when Nick Meldrum, his wife, Stacey Love Meldrum, and their children were in Layton visiting family. They took Faye to the emergency room and were told she most likely had a virus.
"We were told that she would get over it -- and she did -- but it kept coming back," Nick said.
Each time the symptoms returned, they were worse.
A week after Stacey gave birth to Nixon, the couple's third child, she and Nick decided something worse than a virus was causing Faye's pain. They took her to a hospital in College Station, Texas, to have her blood tested.
The following morning, they received a call from the hospital.
"They said we needed to take her to the emergency room," Nick said.
The result has been close to 90 days in the hospital and three rounds of chemotherapy.
Nick said Faye has been great at handling everything that has come her way, including the loss of her beautiful blond hair, and has become an inspiration to her parents and other family members.
Nick spent most of his youth in Weber County, while Stacey grew up in Davis County. After they moved to College Station so Nick could finish his postgraduate degree at Texas A&M, the family stayed there, and now nearly 1,500 miles separates them and their families.
Because of that distance, the kind of help family members can provide during this time of need is limited. They cannot swing by and drop off a meal or watch Nick and Stacey's two sons, Mitchell, 6, and Nixon, for the evening.
So they have organized a series of fundraisers to help with not only the medical costs, but also the cost of other expenses that have come up in recent months.
"They have so many nieces and nephews who have taken the ball and run with it," said Joe Love, Stacey's father. "What's amazing to me is how many have come together. It just blows me away at how many people are involved."
Either Nick or Stacey is always at the hospital with Faye in order to provide as much normalcy as possible, and the 200-mile round-trip travel from their home to the hospital, as well as food costs, is beginning to add up.
The medical bills are accumulating and being worked out with insurance companies, but someday the Meldrums will have to face those bills as well.
Plus, Nick said that this form of leukemia returns to 50 percent of those who go into remission.
"We have yet to really see how crazy (the medical bills) will be," he said. "We've heard horror stories from other families on how much they can incur."
The plan is for the Meldrums not to have their own horror stories.
Several restaurants and businesses have donated gift certificates for Saturday's silent auction, and other donations, such as furniture, antiques and like-new exercise equipment, will be available in the yard sale.
"There are great people in this world and this community who step up when people need help," Love said. "That is something that I've taken for granted, but I won't anymore."