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Community rallies after Bakersfield teen is diagnosed with leukemia

Team Tatum
Posted at 5:00 AM, Jun 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 11:15:45-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Time and time again, the community has shown that it will rally together in support of one of its own. After 17-year-old Tatum Demontmorency was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in May, community members and businesses went above and beyond to benefit Team Tatum.

After her diagnosis, Tatum began chemotherapy treatments in Los Angeles in June. Her second round began this week.

“As much as the situation I’m in is not something I would want to be in, it’s incredible to see how many people are in contact with me everyday,” she said.

While the family adjusted to their new reality, community members tried to ease the stress, organizing fundraising events for the Demontmorency family.

“When we heard about what was going on with the Demont family, We said we can do this we can help out," said Jill Wattenbarger, a longtime family friend.

While family and friends are going above and beyond to help, they're not the only ones. Tatum's mother Naomi said that even people they haven't met have come out to support them. Local businesses like Sonder, Jersey Mike's, Spoiled Rotten, El Portal, and Archer the Storefront have all offered ways to donate to Team Tatum.

“I can’t imagine if it had just been her and I or just her, her dad, my son and I just like trying to get through the, I just cannot imagine," said Naomi.

This Saturday evening, Team Tatum is hosting a poker tournament to raise funds for Tatum. Tournament buy-in is $125 with all you can eat tacos and unlimited beer. The event kicks off at 5:30 p.m.

“They make it so much easier for me to go through this because we’re pretty much alone here, but we’re not at the same time," Tatum said.

For more details about the event and other ways to support Tatum in her recovery, visit the Team Tatum Facebook page here.