Block party to benefit Baby Hadley - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Block party to benefit Baby Hadley

Jason Nase Jason Nase
Ben Lawrence Ben Lawrence
Sara Desensi Sara Desensi
Todd Mercer Todd Mercer

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Her smile lights up a room and moves Louisville to action. Thursday night a group of St. Matthews business leaders met to finalize their plan to help the little fighter, Hadley Mercer.

Inside Mellow Mushroom, a pow wow of some of the most successful business minds in St. Matthews cane together, but their hearts were much more impressive. Just the thought of finding out a child was critically ill was almost too much for them to bear.

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"I couldn't imagine it," Mellow Mushroom's Jason Nase said. "It would be the roughest thing I would ever have to deal with."

"I tear up every time I think about it," said Louisville Geek's Ben Lawrence. 

That scenario is exactly what happened to Brad and Ashlie Mercer in 2013 as they discovered their beaming baby girl Hadley needed a life saving bone marrow transplant for her Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  After hearing Hadley's story hundreds of Louisvillians turned out at an event held at Holy Trinity hoping to be Hadley's perfect match. Thousands of others moved by the story went to other drives around the country.

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After finding a 9/10 match Hadley is now in remission, but she's is being treated in Cincinnati, which is taking a toll on the entire Mercer family.

Inspired by their story Ben Lawrence, the brother of actress Jennifer Lawrence, said his sister and his company wanted to help.

"All the partners at Louisville Geek have kids and can relate and it just really hit home hard," he said.

On Saturday, June 21 a block party will be held between BBC, Mellow Mushroom, Tin Roof, Molly Malone's and Drakes. Live music, as well as food and drink specials, will be offered plus a percentage of sales will go directly to the Mercer family for more than just medical bills.      

[PREVIOUS STORY: Community gathered for bone marrow drive to help young girl]

"It's about taking care of the family here in Louisville," a family friend of the Mercer's, Sara Desensi, explained. "It's about meals and a life that's being lived right now at Children's Hospital in Cincinnati and it's hard."

The block party will also feature a silent auction that is expected to be a huge hit with items like an all inclusive three night trip to a private island in Belize, made possible by Jennifer Lawrence and her friend who runs the place.

"It was in her Oscar swag bag back when she got nominated for Winter's Bone and she went down there and had a great time," Ben Lawrence said of his sister.

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He also checked it himself. "It's the most incredible place I've ever been," he said.

In addition to the trip the silent will also feature hard to find Pappy Van Winkle family reserves, including a 23-year bottle.

The prizes may be priceless to the winning bidders, but the event is sure to be priceless the Mercer family.

Brad's brother, Todd Mercer, said of the fundraiser for his family, "They are very sincere and very thankful for anyone's time, effort and just prayers more than anything else."

If you can't attend block party, $50 will get you into the silent auction online by way of the Louisville Geek website. For more information about the block party, click here.

Interested in what it takes to be a bone marrow donor? Find out more about the process.

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