GRAFTON — For all of her teen years, Karlie Plas’ world has been one marked by rounds of chemo and radiation and countless trips to doctors and hospitals.
Since her diagnosis at age 13 of a malignant form of childhood cancer that carried a 10 percent chance of long-term survival, Plas has soldiered her way through it all, foregoing many of the simple joys enjoyed by girls her age.
But come the night of Dec. 14, the 20-year-old will have a chance to immerse herself into a world of pink and sweet excess known as the “Snowflake Ball.”
The evening, devoted to indulging in chocolate fountains and a Pink Candy Bar (think a salad bar of sweets), looks to raise money to offer Plas’ family some help with staggering medical bills.
“Their expenses have to be astronomical,” Deb Lafferty said.
Lafferty is a family friend who has gotten to know Karlie Plas, her mom, Kellie Plas, and Karlie Plas’ five siblings better since they recently moved back in with Kellie Plas’ parents — Lafferty’s neighbors — in Carlisle Township.
“She’s had chemo and radiation the last month or so, and there’s the drive to the (Cleveland) Clinic every day and the gas expense,” Lafferty said. “It’s been a real big hardship.”
The 5 to 10 p.m. party will be at Ruby’s Hall and Banquet Center, 36709 Royalton Road in Grafton.
Lafferty, who has helped put the evening together with a group of friends and volunteers, including Karlie’s family, said Karlie recently had to be admitted to Cleveland Clinic after her pain grew to an “intolerable” level at home.
“She’s doing much better now,” Lafferty said. “They’re controlling the pain.”
Childhood rhabdomyosarcoma, as Karlie’s condition is formally known, is a cancer that forms malignant cells in muscle tissue. A form of sarcoma, the disease affects soft tissue, such as muscle attached to bones. It also can affect connective tissue like tendons or cartilage.
The pink theme for the Snowflake Ball derives from Karlie’s nickname, where she’s known to family and friends as the “Pink Princess.”
A surprise Karlie doesn’t know about will come courtesy of Cinderella’s Closet, a Sandusky clothing boutique known for providing prom dresses and other formalwear to girls who might not otherwise be able to afford it.
“We just got that confirmed today,” Lafferty said Wednesday. “They’re going to let her pick any dress she wants. They’re also donating shoes, make-up and a tiara … everything she wants to wear for a ball,” which is being billed as a formal and semi-formal affair.
Once she arrives for her special evening, Karlie and her friends will be able to stuff themselves with goodies from the pink candy bar buffet that will serving up pink cotton candy, pink snow cones and pink slushies.
And if that’s not enough, they can assemble their own crazy concoctions from a Mashtini bar.
“You start off with a martini glass in which you can put sweet potato topped by guacamole or salsa, or Italian items,” Lafferty explained. “However you want it, you can even add things like gravy and chocolate syrup.”
A lot of the food will be donated, including chocolate provided by Malley’s Chocolates.
While everyone is pounding down all this caloric richness, they can work it off to karaoke music — one of Karlie’s favorites.
Tickets for the “Snowflake Ball” are $15 for adults and $5 for children. Call Lafferty at (440) 406-0032 for ticket information, donations or other information.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
WHAT: The Snowflake Ball.
WHEN: 5 to 10 p.m. Dec. 14.
WHERE: Ruby’s Hall and Banquet Center, 36709 Royalton Road, Grafton.
HOW MUCH: Tickets are $15 for adults; $5 for children.
Proceeds benefit Karlie Plas, who is battling rhabdomyosarcoma. For more information, call Deb Lafferty at (440) 406-0032.