West Bloomfield residents Lawrence and Elizabeth Gray used their life savings seven years ago to bring their "miracle baby" Vivian Rose into the world.
Now the community is rallying around the family, as Vivian battles an aggressive form of cancer that began with a brain tumor and has metastasized down her spine. Township Supervisor Michele Economu Ureste and the school family at Keith Elementary, where Elizabeth Gray teaches, will host a Benefit for Vivian Rose Gray on Oct. 15 at Planterra Conservatory on Drake Road.
"I had a lot of residents circling the wagons for weeks about taking the initiative to schedule an event with the family," said Ureste, whose children attend Keith Elementary.
Planterra has donated use of the facility, she said, and a number of businesses in the community are helping to advertise the event through social media. Ureste said she has already begun receiving donations as word spreads about the family's struggle.
Held at 6 p.m. so that families can stop by after children get home from school, the benefit will be a social gathering with cider and donuts served. Ureste said a representative from the township's clergy association will offer a prayer for Vivian Rose.
Planterra's conservatory is a glass-enclosed botanical garden with a koi pond and the largest indoor "living wall" in Michigan. Suggested donation for the event is $50 per family.
"We're just hoping to have a strong show of support for this family," Ureste said.
To RSVP, call Ureste at 248-977-6805. If you cannot attend, but still wish to support the Gray family, checks made payable to Vivian Rose Gray may be sent to 5130 Shenandoah, West Bloomfield MI 48323.