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Karli's Angels slate benefit concert Dec. 13

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The concert to help the family cover travel and medical expenses will also include Hall of Fame songwriter Matraca Berg, Wilson County’s own Nashville Star Erika Jo, Lee Thomas Miller, who wrote “In Color” and Jamey Johnson who made it famous.Also on the bill are Deanna Bryant, Eric Heatherly Blain Larsen, Kim Richardson and Marcia Ramer.

Amy wrote about how pleased the family was to be able to attend the concert before leaving for New York City where Karli is going through special treatments which her family hopes will save her eye. Until recently they were told the only treatment was to remove her eye.

“We are really looking forward to spending that evening with all of you to kick off our last trip to New York for 2008. And we are praying that by some miracle, it will be Karli's last treatment, though we would still have to return for follow up checks. I cannot imagine a better Christmas gift.”

The disease, called retinoblastoma, also causes blindness, but in Karli’s case that too may be repairable.

“Yesterday, while we were shopping I received a text,” he mom wrote on Dec. 4th. “It seems that while Karli had her “good eye” covered, her aunt Juliet asked her what she was doing and Karli correctly replied, ‘Sticking your tongue out at me.’ The fact that she can see anything from the diseased eye is a miracle that even the doctors were skeptical would ever happen. Being able to see that detail is definitely unbelievable.”

Amy added, “This, you see, is nothing more that proof that prayer works and we rely heavily on your prayers. God has a special plan for this child, this we are for certain.”

After the concert Friday night, the family will be returning g to NYC for more chemo for Karli.

“We are being picked up on Sunday morning and taken to Louisville, where we will be transported by ‘Corporate Angels’ to NYC,” Amy wrote.

So, she added, “If you are considering going, I would highly recommend it, as you will be seeing some true future stars. I am telling you, these folks are on the brinks of hitting it big. (Some of them already have.)”

Recently the Costley family received a letter from Super Sibs, an organization to help siblings of cancer victims cope. Amy said she teared up reading about how to tell children about cancer. She said it gave her a twinge she couldn’t swallow, “with the thought of having ‘that conversation’ with any of my children.”

But now, she continued, “that topic is as common in our house as playing ball or going to the grocery is in many homes.”

She said it has gotten easier except some times when she is overwhelmed with emotion.

It happened recently when the MJHS cheerleaders took Karli out to the center court and introduced her to the crowd, and invited everyone to her concert.

“For a brief moment, my heart swelled with pride and I choked back the tears,” she wrote. “Pride. Did I say pride? Yeah, that is right. I am proud of her. Extremely proud of her. So many of us could learn so much from this child. We could learn quite a lesson about facing adversity head-on, with the courage of a warrior. She does not feel sorry for herself, she does not know there is anything to feel sorry for.”

Staff Writer Connie Esh may be contacted at cewrites@wilsonpost.com.

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