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‘Operation Brandi’ spans two counties

Operation Brandi, an event organized to aid the family of a15-year-old Sontag girl recovering from multiple transplants, is infull swing today.

Collection points for donations have been set up at the Bank ofBrookhaven in Brookhaven and at the Lawrence County Civic Center inMonticello.

The event kicked off around 6 a.m. and will go until donationsquit coming, according to Q102 radio personality Chuck Ivey, who,with James Laird of Mississippi Organ Recovery, spearheaded theoperation. The DAILY LEADER is also hosting the event.

Live updates will be carried throughout the day on Q102.

The event was organized to help the family of Brandi Cobbthrough a financial emergency. She is the daughter of Sammy andPaula Cobb.

Brandi was born with Cystic Fibrosis, a debilitating diseasethat affects more than 30,000 children and young adults, accordingto the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

She was near the end of her disease and breathing at less than14 percent capacity when she received a double lung and livertransplant at St. Louis Children’s Hospital Sept. 9. The family hadbeen in St. Louis more than a year waiting on the organs.

Brandi is recovering well, according to Paula, but the expensesof maintaining a household in Lawrence County, living in St. Louisand paying for Brandi’s medication and treatments have taken a tollon their finances.

“We are hoping that we won’t run out of money before time tocome home. Things are getting really tight,” Paula said.

Ivey said he hopes to raise at least $5,000 for the familyduring the day’s events.

Operation Brandi has made a strong start, Ivey said. Thursday,before the event actually began, several businesses and individualsmade donations or pledged to donate once the event began.

A Brookhaven businessman donated $100 to Ivey while he wasattending church and asked him to add it to the pot.

“We are just so grateful,” Paula said when she heard ofOperation Brandi. “It’s meant so much to us to have all this loveand support from home. We can’t wait to get Brandi home where shebelongs.”

The family originally expected to come home a few days beforeChristmas, but a recent development in Brandi’s recovery may delaythem, she said. Doctors have told them the development most likelyisn’t serious, but they would like to keep her close so they canmonitor her.

Brandi loves to hear from her friends and neighbors back homeand urges anyone interested to log into her website atwww.caringbridge.com/page/brandicobb to post messages and sign theguestbook.

Contributions may also be mailed: Brandi Cobb Benelovence Fund;c/o Shiloh Baptist Church, P.O. Box 166, Sontag, Miss. 39665.