Local teen transfusion patient to benefit from ghost tour event
A ghost tour of historic Georgetown planned for Saturday, Oct. 19, will raise funds for the Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) in honor of Matt Rucker, a Georgetown County teen who had a bone marrow transplant last month.
Presented by Walking Shadows Ghost Tours of Georgetown, the tour will begin at 9 p.m. and take participants on a lazy stroll through the historic district in the City of Georgetown, where they'll stop in front of some of the area's many reputedly haunted homes and hear tales of the spirits said to dwell there, along with a smattering of other local legends.
Matt, 18, was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia during his senior year at Georgetown High School. He received a life-saving bone marrow transplant at Duke University Medical Center on Sept. 17, after his sister Rachel Rucker, a teacher in Pawleys Island, was determined to be a match.
Funds are being raised to assist with transplant-related expenses.
Ginger Haithcock, owner of Walking Shadows, organized the fundraiser tour after reading about Matt's health struggles just before his transplant. She didn't know Matt or his family, but said his story touched her heart. As a mother of three and grandmother to seven — including two grandchildren with special needs — she was moved to help.
“I know how hard it is for my children to get their own children back and forth to doctor appointment, and how expensive it can get just to drive there and maybe grab something to eat,” Haithcock said.
“I'm a widow and I don't have a lot of money to give, but I do have time and I wanted to do something to help this child and his family. I just like to give and help others.”
The tour will last about 90 minutes. Tickets are $10, though all donations are welcome, and reservations are required as space is limited.
The Town Clock, the Kaminski house, the Keith house, the Mann-Doyle house and Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church are among the sites she said she plans to have the tour stop at. All of the profits will assist with transplant-related expenses, so she encourages people to “give from the heart.”
“We have no doubt this tour is going to be a lot of fun and it's definitely for an excellent cause. We're very grateful to Ginger and Walking Shadows Ghost Tours, and we hope the community will come out and support this wonderful event,” said Tracey Howle, community coordinator for the campaign for COTA in Matt's honor. She's also Matt's aunt.
Matt is the son of Richard and Shannan Rucker. The Rucker family needs an estimated $50,000 to pay for transplant-related expenses, and has been accepted to receive assistance from COTA.
To reserve a ticket for the ghost tour fundraiser, call Walking Shadows Ghost Tours, (843) 543-5321.
The tour group will meet at 800 Front Street, which is at the corner of Front and Broad streets in Georgetown.
For more information about the tour, or other fundraising and volunteer opportunities, contact Tracey Howle, (843) 527-6614 or visit www.COTAforMattR.com
The Children's Organ Transplant Association is a national charity based in Bloomington, Ind. COTA is dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses. COTA's services are completely free of charge, and 100 percent of funds generated by COTA community fundraising campaigns are available for transplant-related expenses.
— From Georgetown County
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