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Word on the Street: Fresno photo studio holds benefit in grand opening

Wicked Haute Pinup & Boudoir Photography will celebrate moving into a new and bigger space April 25 in the Iron Bird Lofts.

Grand openings are happy events, but this one has a serious fundraiser associated with it.

Wicked Haute owner Melissa Wedekind will host a raffle fundraiser for 9-year-old Isabel Anderson, a Clovis girl who has a rare, inoperable and terminal brain tumor.

Isabel has Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG, a tumor that grows on the brain stem. She’s undergone radiation and chemotherapy and now is in a clinical trial for a new medication. The Anderson family makes frequent trips for treatment to Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

Though her tumor hasn’t grown any bigger, Isabel struggles with complications from it. She uses a wheelchair and can’t walk due to weakness in her right arm and leg. Her left eye also turns inward and she has trouble speaking.

Wedekind, who doesn’t know the Andersons personally but has followed the family’s story on the Facebook page for Isabel, decided to hold a raffle to benefit them at her grand opening.

The Andersons are not working right now to spend time with Isabel and her younger sister, Molly, 6, and they don’t receive any government aid.

They use donations to help pay for hotels — the Ronald McDonald House is full — gas and living expenses.

Raffle tickets can be purchased at the grand opening for $5 and include a chance to win various prizes, including a boudoir photo shoot, gift cards from Muses Spa, pole dancing classes and more. The new location is at 1901 Fulton St. in the Iron Bird Lofts on the second floor facing Divisadero Street.

People can also donate to the Anderson family at http://bit.ly/1ixDh5n.

This type of cancer has no cure.

“No one should be told that,” said Isabel’s mother, Jennifer. “The worst thing about this disease is it takes everything from you, but your intelligence is still there. You know what’s going on.”

Because of that, she is encouraging people to donate to a fund through Lucille Packard to find a cure for DIPG at https://my.supportlpch.org/fundraise?fcid=443224.

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