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BVT Volleyball to Hold Fundraiser for Millbury Girl

If there is a word, other than 'winning' that has become synonymous with the Blackstone Valley Tech girls volleyball team, it's 'service.' 
That maxim will ring true again this weekend when the Beavers host their yearly exhibition jamboree to kick off the new season. Blackstone-Millville, Bethany Christian, Millbury, Sutton, and Whitinsville Christian are all expected, but this year each team is making a donation to support a an 11 year-old girl from Millbury named Megan Bernard, who was born with undeveloped kidneys.
"I want my girls to know it's not just about raising money for warm ups," said head coach Barbara King. "It's about helping out in the community."
And the support is greatly appreciated by Megan's family. Megan needs a kidney transplant, and her parents are hoping to avoid putting her on dialysis if a donor can be found in the near future.
"It's overwhelming how much the community has reached out," said Megan's mother, Mindy Bernard. "For the longest time, she has felt alone because no one really knew about her condition. People have reached out to get tested to see whether they could be donors. Others have shared their stories. It's helped her so much that people are thinking of her and supporting her."
She added, "I think that's been the best part of the whole process, she knows she is not alone."
Bernard says her daughter may have a donor before long. Thanks to some local publicity surrounding Megan's story and the power of social media, Bernard says a potential donor is going through some final screening this week and the family could know whether the transplant is a "go" in a couple of weeks. Currently, Megan treats her condition with an assortment of medications and nightly injections. 
"We knew she had this condition from a young age, but the last year she really took a turn," Bernard said. "Her whole existence has been medicine every hour and a half she is awake and a shot every night. Now, it's a couple of shots per night and even more medicine. We make trips to Boston a lot. The toxins in her blood cause her to have headaches and nausea. She feels horrible all the time."
Even after the transplant, Bernard says Megan will have to be in the hospital upwards of a month, something that will put a strain on the family.
"I will probably be staying with her and my husband, Tim, will have to hold down the fort at home," she said, adding that the couple has two older children, a 20-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter. "The help and support is greatly needed and appreciated."
King said, in addition to the donations being made by the teams, she is going to see whether anyone is able and willing to put together a bake sale to support the cause. She also plans to have concessions available. Megan has a fundraising Web site set up at http://www.gofundme.com/meganbernard and those interested in helping can contact Mindy Bernard directly at mindybernard@ymail.com. 




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