“I Wear Grey for Todd Edgerly” shirts are available in several locations for $20. The Edgerly family is pictured: Front Row - L to R: Brandi Richard, granddaughter- Madalyn Merritt and Macy Edgerly. Middle Row: Flo Edgerly, Todd Edgerly and Gene Edgerly. Back Row: Mallory Guidry, Erica Edgerly, Ashley Edgerly, John Edgerly, Stephanie Edgerly and Alex Edgerly.

Penny LeLeux
For The Record

The Bridge City High School class of 1982 should be celebrating 30 years since graduation. Instead of a regular class reunion, they have decided to turn the reunion into a fundraiser for one of their own.

Todd Edgerly, 48, was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a very aggressive form of brain cancer in March. June 30, a fundraiser will be held at the Community Center in Bridge City. Friends started organizing a fundraiser a few days ago to help pay medical expenses. Several of those friends are classmates and that is where the idea came from; to help with the fundraiser rather than hold a traditional reunion. They are asking classmates to donate $50 to the cause rather than spend the money on an event center. They can then gather at the fundraiser to volunteer or participate and visit with old classmates; a different kind of reunion, with a purpose.

The event was posted on Facebook and within just a couple of days over 5,800 people have been invited with over 500 committed to going.

Todd and his parents, Flo and Gene Edgerly are well known citizens in Orange and Jefferson counties. Flo is a former justice of the peace for Precinct 3 in Orange County. Todd is employed and is a brother of IBEW Local 479.

Severe headaches are what first brought Todd to the doctor. A CT Scan confirmed there was a lesion in his brain. Most of the tumor was surgically removed in Houston. Pathology reports confirmed the tumor was malignant.

The day before Todd was to start radiation treatments, Todd suffered a stroke causing paralysis in the left side of his body. Doctors performed ‘full brain’ radiation instead of a more pinpointed area, which is the norm. “They did almost three weeks of radiation,” said Todd’s sister-in-law, Stephanie Edgerly. “And the doctor said the tumor continued to grow. From what we were told, it’s one of the fastest growing malignancies that there is as far as brain cancer.”

Doctors at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston told the family there was nothing else they could do for him and sent Todd home on hospice.

Once home, his mother and father took matters into their own hands. Flo feverishly took to the internet researching for solutions that could possibly save Todd’s life. She immediately changed his diet to organic foods that were shown to have affects on cancer. “They basically cut him off all sugar, trying to starve the cancer,” said Stephanie. “She got that out of a cancer treatment diet book.”

Flo’s research revealed a doctor in Houston, Stanislaw Burzynski, who had been providing alternative treatments such as gene therapy for over 30 years. She and Gene brought Todd for an initial consultation last week on Monday. Following an MRI on Tuesday, Todd began a targeted therapy treatment which is a variety of medications targeted to certain spots.

”All these pills are very expensive,” said Todd’s brother, John Edgerly.

Since the treatment is considered experimental it is not covered by insurance and has to be paid up front.  Todd also came off hospice since he was accepted into Dr. Burzynski’s program, so the family is now coordinating around the clock care with family and friends.

“He has some good days and bad days,” said John.

Dedra Doucet, a family friend, has organized a list of friends to cook for the family during this time of need. If you would like to be put on the list to provide meals, please contact Doucet at (409) 988-3061

“Todd’s friends are taking turns driving Flo, Gene and Todd back and forth to Houston on days John has to work and can’t go,” Stephanie said. “We can’t thank the friends and the wives enough, they’re amazing, the help that they’ve given.”

Currently raffle tickets to win a rifle are being sold for $1. “I Wear Grey for Todd Edgerly” tee-shirts were designed by Eric Andrus of COS in Bridge City and are being printed for cost. They are available for $20 at Luv Lingerie and Bette’s Gift Shop in Bridge City; The Pink Chandelier in Orange; and Salon Mecca in Port Neches. Dana’s Jewelry in Nederland, will be designing a blue topaz and diamond pendent that will also be raffled off.  Kirk’s on 87 Café and Floral D’Lis (same building) in Bridge City will donate 15 percent of their sales made on June 29 to the benefit. Several Golden Triangle businesses are participating by donating auction items.

Plans are still forming for the big event on June 30, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. There will be bands, silent and live auctions, barbecue and more. The entertainment line-up is being organized and will be released at a later date. Additional bands interested in playing, please e-mail Mike Guillotte at: salonmecca@sbcglobal.net.  Someone will contact you.

Items to be auctioned off are being collected. Two items already donated are guitars; one autographed by Miranda Lambert and the other by Tracy Byrd.

To volunteer, make auction and food donations or request flyers, e-mail your name, cell number and information to: HYPERLINK “mailto:salonmecca@sbcglobal.net”salonmecca@sbcglobal.net.  Someone will contact you.

MidCounty auction donations can be dropped off at Salon Mecca in Port Neches located at 3118 Nall St., Tuesday-Friday. All others may contact via e-mail, for arrangements to be made.

Monetary Donations can be sent to: Todd Edgerly Benefit-c/o Bridge City Bank, Acct# 146766-06, P O Box 887, Bridge City, TX 77611.

For updates and other information, check out the event page on Facebook: Benefit for Todd Edgerly.