Weekend benefit to help young girl fighting brain cancer

WAUWATOSA (WITI) -- Everyday is a gift. That's what Christine and Mike Barleben have learned after their lives were turned upside down nearly five months ago.

"Unbelievable, a nightmare, you never think your kid will wake up fine one day and so sick the next day," says Christine Barleben.

They discovered their once healthy little two-year-old, Brooke, has brain cancer.

"You don`t know how to feel, you don`t know how to act. You get breaks and minutes where you think she`s healthy and then reality sets back in and she`s not," says Mike.

Brooke has since undergone two brain surgeries removing a tumor the size of a tennis ball, and five rounds of chemotherapy.

"The tumor was so large it was literally pushing her brain out against her skull," says Mike.

With medical bills mounting, friends and family rallied together and organized a benefit for Brooke this Saturday.

"It`s been amazing that our friends, the community, and strangers have stepped up and helped us as much as they have," says Christine.

Although at times Mike and Christine struggle to hold their head high, they find inspiration through their brave daughter.

"It's just amazing to see how resilient she is that she just has the strength to keep going," says Christine.

With just one more round of chemo to go, Brooke plans to keep fighting until she's back home where she belongs.

Brooke's benefit is this Saturday, May 4th from 7 p.m. until midnight at Serb Hall in Milwaukee.

Benefit accounts have also been set up at Anchor Bank and Landmark Credit Union to help pay for Brooke's medical expenses.