Friends of Gregory Wilson, the 3-year-old poster child for the Maryland chapter of the Leukemia Society of America who died last Sunday, have scheduled a pancake breakfast and fund-raiser to help his family pay medical and funeral expenses.
The event is scheduled for Saturday at St. Ignatius Church hall in Hickory.
Kathy Willis, spokeswoman for the Gregory Wilson Leukemia Fund, said people have been working on the fund-raiser for two months. Although she did not know the extent of Gregory's medical bills, the youngster had had two major operations.
Gregory died at his home in Bel Air of complications from the disease.
He was diagnosed at 18 months with acute myelogenic leukemia (AML) and went through chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.
"He was a special kid. He burned brightly, like a comet, and then he went away," said Gregory's father, David F. Wilson.
Gregory appeared on the Aug. 30 Televent for Leukemia Research, a national telethon broadcast locally on WBAL-TV. He recently did a fund-raising commercial with Orioles Leo Gomez, Chris Hoiles and Brad Pennington to sell baseball caps to benefit the Leukemia Society.
According to Mrs. Willis, tickets for the fund-raiser, scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon, are available at Pro Image in the Harford Mall and at All-Star Cards, 5726 Harford Road in Baltimore.
Tickets for the pancake breakfast are $3 and must be purchased in advance. Oriole pitcher Fernando Valenzuela and former Oriole outfielder Paul Blair will attend to sign autographs for $10 and $2, respectively. Autograph tickets must also be purchased in advance. Mr. Blair will appear from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., while Mr. Valenzuela will sign from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
A silent auction will be held throughout the breakfast for 100 donated items.
Raffle tickets will be offered for such prizes as three one-year subscriptions to Comcast Cable of Harford County and a 22-inch charcoal grill from Kmart.
Mrs. Willis said anyone unable to attend the fund-raiser but wishing to make a contribution can send a check to the Gregory Wilson Leukemia Fund, c/o Maryland National Bank, 201 S. Main St., Bel Air, Md. 21014.